The stage for Bai Choi performances encompasses nine cottages, each containing five or six ‘players’. One of the cottages, the central house, contains a troupe of musicians and instruments. A deck of playing cards is split in half, with one stack distributed amongst the players, and the other placed in the central house. The cards are stuck onto bamboo poles and erected outside the cottages. The Bai Choi songs are about festivals, daily life and work, and are accompanied by musical instruments. Bai Choi singing, a combination of poetry, music, singing, performance and improvisation, was invented nearly 400 years ago and serves as a community game for Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday in the central stretch of Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Binh Dinh, as well as Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa.
The singing was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in late August last year.