Beijing Diabolo Museum

What Is a Diabolo?

A diabolo, or Chinese Yoyo, formerly also known as "the devil on two sticks", is a juggling folk toy made of bamboo and wood. It is an empty roller shaped like a dumbbell, which is spun and tossed on a string tied to two sticks, held one in each hand.

Several diabolos can be spun on a single string at one time, and varieties of tricks are possible in using the sticks and strings. Diabolo spinning is closely related to the daily exercise, entertainment and festive celebrations of old Beijing. Diabolo spinning has been named as one of China’s non-material heritages.

Traditional diabolos are usually hand-made, and the complicated process goes through about 17 procedures. Beijing Diabolo Museum displays how a diabolo is made. Contact us to design a tour including the museum.

Museum Overview

Beijing Diabolo Museum (北京空竹博物馆) is located in a traditional courtyard house in the hutong . Housing over 400 diabolos, the museum is divided into 3 halls, presenting the development of diabolos in terms of history, techniques and playing tricks.

Visitors can watch the making process of a diabolo at the interactive area, or even have a chance to make a diabolo together with a diabolo master. At the small square outside the courtyard, diabolo spinning fan s and masters gather occasionally to teach the tricks of diabolo spinning.

Museum Exhibits

Some notable exhibits include diabolos that are over 100 years old, the biggest diabolo in the world, mini diabolos that are only the size of a fingernail, a diabolo once spun by Puyi (1906 - 1967), the last imperial emperor of China, and clay sculptures of diabolo spinning in ancient times.

Travel Essentials:

  • Address: 9 Xiaoxing Hutong, near Baoguo Temple, Xuanwu District (宣武区报国寺小星胡同9号)
  • Opening Hours: 09:00 – 16:30 (Tuesday - Sunday)
  • Nearby Attraction: Beijing Theater Museum

Questions and Answers About Beijing Diabolo Museum

Noodle 2012-10-11
Show Answer
Hi! Any specific stores that sell the Chinese Yo-yos in Beijing,China? Thanks
Dear Noodle, I don't know the information about the shops in Beijing, I searched it on line. You could buy it on this website. Please click: http://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?SearchText=+Yo-yo&IndexArea=product_en&fsb=y Lussie Lu replied on 2012-10-12
JL Laforge 2011-01-13
Show Answer
Have You got a shop where we can buy Yo-yo? Thank You for the answer
Hi JL Laforge You can buy a Yo-yo easily in every store near the schools or department store (toy area) Thank you Nero Hou replied on 2011-01-20
Shelley Fourie 2010-09-02
Show Answer
how old are diabolo's.
Hello Shelley, Diabolos have a history of at least 1700 years. As early as the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280 AD) of ancient China, a famous poet named Cao Zhi (曹植) wrote a descriptive prose about diabolos, which is said to be the earliest record of diabolos. If you have further inquiries or need tour services in China, feel free to send us an email to service@chinahighlights.com, we will reply to you within 24 hours. Mia Yang replied on 2010-09-02
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I updated this article on April 16, 2014
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