Kongzhu, also known as the Chinese yo-yo, is made of the China’s signature plant - bamboo. It works as a diabolo spinning and buzzing like an acrobat on a string. Traditionally, Kongzhu is a folk game. In the north of China, people especially children like to play Kongzhu on festivals. During the Spring Festival, people can hear the whistles of Kongzhu everywhere. Now, people play Kongzhu all year round.
Kongzhu, as also a traditional Chinese art, could date back more than 1,000 years. It has passed down from the hands of lords and dignitaries to become a household pastime. It is called the "vibrating bells" in southern China, since the movements of Kongzhu always create lasting sounds.
Kongzhu is versatile and has more than 1,000 sets of movements. The number is still growing. These are enough to make it a national intangible heritage.
For a lot of Kongzhu lovers, playing with Kongzhu is fun and it can drive worries away. Another perk of practicing Chinese yo-yo is evident. It's a comprehensive exercise that moves one's various muscles and trains one's alertness. A Kongzhu master describes like this, “You have to use your muscle power in the right way, react quickly to the spinning diabolo and try your best to go with it.
In China，most Kongzhu players are 60 year-old or older, they always form a troupe, practice and perform together. The most famous Kongzhu Troupe goes to Beijing's Longtan Park fair every year to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, as juggling and playing Kongzhu has been a popular program at the country's New Year fairs since the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).