Hoi An Bai Choi
is a diverse art, combining music, poetry, acting, painting, and literature. This type originates from the Central region, popular in the provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan. Those who keep and practice the art of Bai Choi are called Hieu brothers and sisters.
Bai Choi Hoi An has two forms: playing Bai Choi and performing. When playing hut, participants use cards. During the performances, Hieu performed on papyrus mats or moved from place to place. They sang and talked about their love for their homeland, community cohesion, and moral lessons.
The art of Bai Choi is mainly preserved through the oral method. The artists learned skills and techniques of chanting and singing from the previous generation in the family. Today, some artisans also teach Bai Choi in groups, clubs, and schools.
Read more: Japanese Bridge
Bai Choi Hoi An time
The art of singing Hoi An comes from the working life of the Quang people. In the past, people built huts for upland cultivation. When guarding the crops on the sentry hut, the village boys have devised a way to communicate with each other by singing and chanting between one hut and another.
Previously, the night of Bai Choi festival only took place on Saturdays every week. But due to the crowded nature of tourists to Hoi An, now this playground takes place every night to serve visitors. Around 8 pm, people gather in the courtyard by the Hoai River Bridge. Spread small mats under the bamboo huts and listen to ancient melodies from the old folk songs of singing huts.
Bai choi Hoi An
This is a playground of chess…
Bai Choi Hoi An is considered a unique folk game. The campus of the Bai Choi Association consists of 9 bamboo huts, each with 5-6 players. In which, 1 female hut for bamboo tubes to hold cards, flags and 1 central hut for the band including harp and drums. The deck of cards used to play the card game is called the matching card, there are 27 pairs with popular and easy-to-remember names such as:
The first game, the poor second, the three chickens, the three toss, the four legs… The cards are printed on paperboard and glued on bamboo cards. The deck of cards is divided into 2 parts, half is divided among the players, and the other half is placed in the female hut. At the beginning of the game, the leader (the leader) will shout Thai words. He randomly drew a card from a bamboo pipe and hummed a rhyme- called ho thai, so that the end of the chant would “match” the card he drew.
If the player’s card matches the one drawn from the bamboo pipe of the female hut, that player knocks the signal and is given a flag. The player with the most flags will be rewarded and the gift for the winner is usually a glass of wine invited by Mr. Hieu and given a Hoi An lantern as a souvenir.
The game continues until he summons all the cards. Hoi Bai Choi is a popular outdoor playground, the players are the spectators who come to enjoy the lively atmosphere and listen to the chanting of Thai.
Playing the song of the hut doesn’t matter if you win or lose…
The interesting feature of singing Hoi An hut song is listening to slow, rhythmic, and low-pitched songs. Sometimes it feels like poetry. Players go from one surprise to another. Then guess again and again what the card is being played. Each game sometimes only lasts 15 minutes.
But sometimes it lasts an hour because it depends on when a player hits 3 pieces first.
No one knows when Bai Choi officially appeared, but this type was regularly held in Hue regions. Quang Nam more than 300 years ago during festivals or spring celebrations.
When it was recognized as a World Cultural Heritage, Travel Hoi An decided to restore Bai Choi into a playground. This decision is to promote the unique culture of the nation to friends in five continents.
Bai Choi Hoi An in Quang Nam has both the hot breath of modern life and the gentleness and grace of meaningful traditional culture.
Therefore, the Bai Choi festival has become a cultural activity, an indispensable spiritual dish of many classes of people in the province, attracting both the elderly and the young in all regions, not only in Tet but also at local festivals.