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Debbie Hadley

Cricket Lore - The Chinese Love Affair with Crickets

By August 6, 2008

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For over two millenia, the Chinese have been in love with crickets. Visit a Beijing market, and you'll find prize specimens fetching prices that make the average tourist do a double take.

A chirping cricket brings good luck and wealth to Chinese families.
A chirping cricket brings good luck and wealth to Chinese families.
Photo: Flickr user webby0101

In recent decades, the Chinese have revived their ancient sport of cricket fighting. Owners of fighting crickets take the best care of their prizefighters, feeding them precise meals of ground worms and other nutritious grub. Cricket fights are usually staged in late September and October. While the fights themselves are legal entertainment, gambling on cricket fights is strictly forbidden.

Crickets are also prized for their voices. In the U.S., a chirping cricket in the basement is deemed an annoyance. For the Chinese, a cricket singing in the home is a sign of good luck and potential wealth. The more crickets invade a family's residence, the wealthier that family will become. So cherished are these insect songsters that they are often housed in beautiful cages made from bamboo, and displayed in the home.

Chinese farmers have relied on crickets to signal the start of the planting season, and celebrated the crickets with poems, fables, and paintings.

More on Crickets and Chinese Culture:

Comments

March 18, 2009 at 9:34 am
(1) Jeff Lewis says:

Stumbled upon your blog as I was looking for information about crickets for my fourth graders who are reading A Cricket in Times Square. They are going to read your blog post and I am going to encourage them to leave you a comment. They would be thrilled to have you comment back either on our class wiki (www.alsuproom24.wikispaces.com, click on Reading), or you can email me directly. Thanks for this great post.

March 18, 2009 at 2:20 pm
(2) shyla says:

how long have crickets been around?why do they have to chirp?cant they make a different noise?

March 18, 2009 at 2:21 pm
(3) jose says:

How do crickets make that awkward noise of theirs.

March 19, 2009 at 2:08 pm
(4) jeremy says:

How many bugs are in the world.

March 19, 2009 at 2:10 pm
(5) richard says:

Can crickets fly?

March 19, 2009 at 2:11 pm
(6) joshua says:

When crickets call do only crickets communicate to that call?

March 19, 2009 at 2:16 pm
(7) Asia says:

Dear Debbie I read your incect blog and I have a few questions for you.Do crickets only chirp,and what do they eat besides leaves?

March 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm
(8) jose says:

Thanks for the info and how do crickets jump so high do they have springs under their legs!?!

March 19, 2009 at 2:32 pm
(9) Monica Solis says:

Debbie I wonder if you have had a cricket as a pet?Can you make a cricket stop chirping?

March 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm
(10) Eduardo says:

What are all the spicies of crickets?

March 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm
(11) Monica Solis says:

Why do you like beetles and caterpillars? I like caterpillars because they turn into pretty insects.

March 20, 2009 at 2:43 pm
(12) Noemi Galdean says:

Do cats like to chase crikets too?What other
animals like to chase crikets?Do you know everything about animal?Well write me back.

March 20, 2009 at 3:19 pm
(13) Jacqueline Campos says:

Why do chinese people keep ckrikets?Do ckrickets fly?Where do crickets live?Where could you find crickets?Where do crickets come from?Does the male or female have the babies?How many babies can a cricket have?
How big can a cricket get?

December 21, 2011 at 11:21 am
(14) Colleen says:

U love crickets! I LOVE CRICKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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