Have you ever played spinning top (also call top or spintop) on the ice? If you visit Harbin in winter you will have opportunity to play this special toy in the parks, the squares or on the Frozen Songhua River. In Harbin, the locals call this toy bīng gá (ice spinning top)because it is played on the ice.
Since 1993, Harbin have yearly held ice spinning top contests for schoolchildren. The sponsor not only set the ranking prize by the length of spinning time, but also set the awards for minimum ice top, the maximum ice top and unique ice top, and the best craftsmanship.
Ice spinning top is not only suitable for children but the adults. We incorporate ice spinning top in some of our Harbin ice festival tour packages as a self-pay item. If you visit Harbin during the ice festival you should not miss this interesting winter activity.
A child is playing ice spintop in Stalin Park
Two old men are holding an ice spinning top contest on the frozen Songhua River
An old woman is playing a giant ice spinning top
How to Spin a Top
1. Take the string of the toy top and tie a knot on one end a make a loop for your finger on the other.
2. Locate the center of the top and use your thumb to hold the knotted end of the string in the center of the top.
3. Secure the string by wrapping it around the neck of the top and crossing it over the knot you're holding in place. Picture a backwards "Y" shape.
3. Continue to pull the free end of the string down the pointed tip of the top and start to wind it around the top until all the string is firmly wound.
4. Slip the finger loop over your middle finger and hold the top in your hand with the pointed side up, facing away from your palm.
5. Find a clear area and aim about four feet out and throw the top. Be sure to keep your wrist and elbow straight and throw at an even height; there is no need to throw towards the floor.
(Note: the source of how to spin a top is from http://www.ehow.com/how_3390892_spin-top.html)