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Playing the Bamboo Egg and the Flowery Dragon

The Qilao people have such popular sports as bamboo egg, "flowery dragon", feather ball, horse racing, rope skipping, etc. The Bamboo egg is woven with thin bamboo strips, as big as a duck egg, which is stuffed with straw, rags or old cotton. The playing court is drawn out on the plain ground, and two teams take their own fields. When the match starts, one person of team A hits the egg with the hand to the field of the other team; then players of team B hit it back with hands or feet. If the egg is out, missed or hit with any part of the body but hand and foot, the other team gets a score. The team with a higher score wins finally.

"Flowery dragon" is also a kind of ball made of bamboo strips, filled with some bronze coins and porcelain fragments, which clangs when it is hit or thrown. There are no racing teams. A person throws it up first, and all the players vie to catch it. When one has got the ball, one throws it up again and at the same time shouts aloud he is throwing. Whoever catches the ball for the most times wins the game. Since the competition is very fierce, the game is very lively and full of excitement, which is a good test of their smartness and endurance.

In the autonomous counties of Longlin, Guangxi Privince, people play rope skipping to celebrate an old person's recovery from a disease, praying for their health and longevity. The main skipper is the eldest son-in-law or niece-in-law, with a female relative skipping with him. The man holds an over 30-centimetre rope of beef tendon, and carries a bamboo steamer on his back, in which there is an empty bowl. The female skipper holds a chopstick in her hand, and tries to strike the bowl. Every time she has done it, the main skipper has to have a cup of wine. And when her chopstick is knocked down to the ground by the rope, the woman is punished to have a cup of wine, too. After the ceremony, beef and tendon is devoted to the elder, wishing him/her good health, the life as firm and tenacious as the tendon.

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