The generalized puppet shows includes the shadow plays (with leather puppet), while the regularly mentioned puppet show (Chinese:木偶戏) mainly refers to marionettes or rod puppets, in which puppets are carved from wood and covered with colorful costumes.
Puppet show is an ancient art form world widely spread nowadays, which animating the inanimate puppet manipulated by puppeteers accompanied with music. Strings, wires or rods are fixed on the key joint of the puppets like head, back, belly, hands, and the puppeteers control the actions of puppets by manipulating these strings and rods. Puppet show is attractive and peerless for its wonderful performance as well as the perfect formative arts and manipulated equipments. Exquisite design and careful carving of the puppets are not only for splendid appearance but also for marvelous stunt shows.
Chinese puppet shows existed as early as Spring and Autumn Period (770BC- 476BC), and in the Three Kingdom Period (220- 280), there were already the puppet acrobatics shows. Most shows today are storytelling, with the splendid puppet performing but hidden puppeteers. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the puppet shows are richer and extended to the fields of modern drama, song and dance shows, series sitcoms and even advertisements.