| Updated at: 1058 PST, Monday, September 27, 2010|
BEIJING: The ancient art of cricket fighting is alive and well in modern China, and is in fact so popular among many of the older generation that tournaments can draw dozens of contestants.
The sport, known as 'Qiuxing', dates back well over 2000 years ago.
Avid cricket fighters, mostly elderly men, often gather in Beijing to hold amateur competitions.
Each fight contains two male crickets, matched according to size and weight, which battle for control of their territory.
The trainers goad their chosen fighters with a straw or a fine haired brush, and contests usually end after a few minutes, when one cricket beats its wings in victory and the other runs away in defeat.
Although gambling is still officially illegal in mainland China, the fights themselves are legal and offer opportunities to meet new people from across the country.
The Chinese love crickets! They are called by the folks as qu qu (for fighting) and guo guo (for singing). The last two decades saw increasingly popularity of this game in Beijing, Shanghai, etc.
Cricket living and fighting containers and tools worth observing as well. Some are extravagant antique containers (villas), and cricket apartments made from ivory, porcelains and rare wood carvings.