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The Buda Game of the Tang and Song Dynasties

2003-11-16 08:20:00 COC Website

    Buda was a ball game which was almost as popular as polo in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Called "chuiwan" (ball-beating) in the Liao and Jin dynasties (916-1234), it is driven with a stick to holes on the ground in very much the same way as the modern game of golf. It was a favourite diversion with palace the maids, who liked to play it on the Hanshi Festival (one day before the 5th solar term of Prue Brightness) .

    The game developed into a competitive sport in the Song and Yuan dynasties (960-1368). A monograph on the ball game, written in the early Yuan Dynasty, describes in detail the specifications of the playing field and apparatus as well as the playing rules of Buda. The game gained even greater popularity in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), especially among young people in cities. Scenes of Buda play are depicted in the scroll painting "Ming Dynasty Emperor Xuan Zong in Merrymaking " and the traditional Chinese painting of beautiful women done by Ming Dynasty painter Du Dong, both of which are now kept in Beijing' s Palace Museum. By the Oing Dynasty ( 1644-1911 ), however. the game was rarely played.

Games on Ice
    IN ancient China, games on ice and snow were quite popular in the northern parts of the country. History books say that people of the Nanshiwei ethnic group living near the Changbai Mountains "rode on wooden boards and sped over the ice, often for hundreds of paces at a stretch."

    Nurhachi (1559-1626), father of the first emperor of the Oing Dynasty ( 1644-1911), he had skating included in his military training programme when he set up the state of Jin in his native place in northeast China. After occupying areas to the south of the Shanhaiguan Pass, he made it a rule to review his troops on skates.

    During the Oing Dynasty, big sports meets on ice were held around Winter Solstice (22nd solar term) every year in the Taiyi Pool (present-day Beihai Park and Zhongnanhai Lake in Beijing). Three kinds of games were contested: First, speed skating which involved 1, 000-odd contestants skating over a certain distance in given postures; second, figure skating in which the skaters performed highy difficult stunts on the ice; and third, kicking a ball on ice, contested by dozens of people divided into two sides.

    In addition to the games on ice played in the imperial palace, skating of various descriptions was also popular among the folks in northern China.

    According to historical records, boots with skates were already in use at that time. "Those gliding over the ice wore boots with sharp iron blades underneath. They sped off like shooting stars or lightning, vying to be the first to come home. "

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