≡ Menu
Vagabond Journey

Live Roosters Used As Archery Targets At Jilin Ice Festival

Hit a bull’s eye? Nope. How about a rooster’s body? At the Ice Festival at Jilin live roosters are hung upside down on a big block of ice and used as targets in an archery game. Tourists pay for a chance to skewer the hapless birds with arrows. From QQ, translated by China Smack: 2013 [...]

rooster-being-shot-with-arrow-at-festival-2

Hit a bull’s eye? Nope. How about a rooster’s body?

At the Ice Festival at Jilin live roosters are hung upside down on a big block of ice and used as targets in an archery game. Tourists pay for a chance to skewer the hapless birds with arrows.

rooster-being-shot-with-arrow-at-festival-3

From QQ, translated by China Smack:

2013 January 14, at the Jilin Province Yanji City Ice Festival, during the traditional Chinese-Korean traditional archery event and in accordance with age-old folk custom, live roosters symbolizing prey were used as targets for tourists to shoot at, causing controversy. Some tourists felt this was a little cruel.

rooster-being-shot-with-arrow-at-festival

While there is one prevailing argument in China that says that these roosters are going to be killed and eaten anyway so there is little difference in the end how they are killed, there is another that says that shooting them up for sport is far crueler than the fast and efficient traditional methods of slaughter.

What’s your take?

Filed under: Animals, China

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 89 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3490 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support Wade Shepard’s writing on this blog (please help):

Wade Shepard is currently in: Brooklyn, New York

2 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • Jean January 22, 2013, 3:02 am

    I think its cruel. Even if they will eventually be slaughtered to be eaten. It’s like saying it’s ok to torture a terminally ill person because theyre going to die soon anyway. Man cannot keep on using tradition as an excuse to carry on certain unethical (debatable) practices. True our ancestors may have practiced certain things but there is a good reason why human beings and civilisations develop and progress overtime. at this day and age we should be able to distinguish what is right and wrong.

    Link Reply
    • Vagabond Journey January 22, 2013, 3:12 am

      I agree with you here. There are some traditions, like cockfighting, that have deep cultural meaning and serves a major role in a community, but setting up roosters to be shot by tourists — where’s the cultural depth to that? Even with the justification that it’s an “age-old” folk custom having it manifested as a carnival game, in my opinion, undercuts any deep value that it could have.

      Link Reply