Gasing (Top Spinning in Kelantan)
The "Gasing" is a traditional game and it is a favorite pastime among the East Coast Malays, especially those in the Kelantan State.
The "gasing" or top is about the size of a dinner plate and may weigh up to 5.5 kg! Spinning one is hardly child's play as it requires great dexterity and precise timing. After it is launched, the gasing is quickly scooped off the ground with a thin wooden bat and transferred onto a metal receptacle on a short wooden post. An expert top-spinner can make a perfectly balanced gasing spin for as long as two hours at a stretch, although, according to local belief, a top will spin for 24 hours or more if a spirit enters it!
The making of a good top begins with the selection a fine piece of hard wood. In Kelantan and Terengganu, a few species are normally used. Even then, only the base and upper roots or the portion where a branch joins the trunk are acceptable.
The wood takes a few weeks to dry naturally. It is then shaped into a discus. For metal top, the edge has to accurately grooved in order to have a good grip of the metal rim. A good top requires perfect symmetry which is an important attribute to longer spinning time. From start to finish, a good giant metallic top might need four to six weeks to complete.