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On-Fire Yunnan Torch Festival

The Torch Festival is an ancient traditional festival of the Yi, Bai, Naxi, Jinuo, and Lahu ethnic groups. It has a profound folk culture and is called the "Oriental Carnival." Different ethnic groups hold their torch festivals at different times, most of them celebrate it on June 24 of the lunar calendar. The main activities include bull-fighting, sheep-fighting, cock fighting, horse-racing, wrestling, singing and dancing performances, and beauty contest. The Torch Festival is also one of the most traditional ethnic minority festivals in Yunnan which is celebrated in all parts of Yunnan by the 26 ethnic minorities.

 

Yunnan Nationalities Village

Time: July 24th - July 28th

Location: Yunnan Nationalities Village

Activities: torch welcoming, bull-fighting, wrestling, torch cruise, Datiao group dance, torch carnival, fire offering ceremony

 

Shilin Yi Torch Festival

Time: August 5th - August 11th

Location: Stone Forest Scenic Area, Shilin Yi Autonomous County, Kunming City

Activities: ethnic songs & dance competition, King Ox competition, ethnic embroidery exhibition, wrestling competition, Torch Carnival Night

On the day of the Torch Festival, all members of the community, male and female, young and old dressed up in festive costumes and will gather in the market to celebrate the annual traditional festival. The most favorable places are in the remote stone forest, at the shore of Changhu Lake and the foot of Guishan Mountain. Wrestling competition and bull-fighting are also highlights of the festival.

 

Chuxiong Yi Torch Festival

Time: August 5th - August 11th

Location: the festival sets main venue in Chuxiong city proper (Yiren Ancient Town, Shiyue Taiyanli Park, Taoyuan Lake Square, etc.) and Zixi Mountain (Zixi Village) and other venues respectively in the nine counties under the jurisdiction of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture.

Activities: No-level Yi Wrestling Tournament, Zixi mountain bike race, Yi ethnic horse race, Yi Ethnic Long Street Banquet, bonfire party, Fire Offering Ceremony

Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture is one of China's two Yi autonomous prefectures and the area where the Torch Festival is most popular and ceremoniously celebrated. In 2005, the “China Chuxiong Yi Torch Festival” was listed in the first batch of National Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection List. In May 1981, the Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture designated the Torch Festival as a statutory festival for the Yi people in the state. Since then, the festival has been held in Lucheng, Chuxiong every year.

 

Dali Weishan Yi Torch Festival

Time: August 5th (Lunar June 24th)

Location: Weishan County Seat, Dali Prefecture

The giant torches are erected in the villages in the early morning, and the small torches in front of each household are also set up. When the sunset is over the mountains, the night falls, and people from all sides gether in the Ancient City of Weishan. At the time, the main streets in the ancient city, especially the Nanzhao ancient street, will be full of ignited torches with cracking firecrackers in a display of fireworks and a sea of lanterns, forming a grand landscape of "the grand torch in the square, the small torches in front of each house, and one torch in the hands of each individual."

 

Wenshan Qiubei Yi Torch Festival

Time: August 5th (Lunar June 24th)

Location: Jiaolian Square and Puzhehei Passion Square, Qiubei County, Wenshan Prefecture 

The Torch Festival is held in the most beautiful season of Puzhehei. It is the most expertly held folk festival in Qiubei with the highest level of integration with tourism development. The main activities of the Yi Torch Festival include Bimo Sacrifice, Long Street Banquet, Xuanzi Dance Competition, and Yi People's Bonfire Party. The festival is rich in content with high participation of tourists, attracting the attention of many outside tourists.

 

Yuxi E’shan Yi Torch Festival

Time: August 5th (Lunar June 24th)

Location: E’shan County, Yuxi City

E’shan is the first Yi autonomous county in China and the hometown of Flower-Drum Dance of Chinese Yi people. The Torch Festival is the grandest ethnic festival with richest ethnic features in E’shan County. During the festival, a variety of sport and cultural activities like drilling wood for making fire, torch relay, torch lighting ceremony, ancestor worship ceremony, bonfire carnival, "Envying Dream Garden, Flower Drums in E’shan" art calligraphy and photography exhibition, bite of Yi special food, fun mass sports activities, ethnic cultural tourism and other colorful cultural and sports activities, are held to show a unique ethnic culture.

Baoshan Mangkuan Yi Torch Festival

Time: August 6 (Lunar June 25)

Location: E[FS:Page]thnic Culture Square, Mangkuan Township, Baoshan City

The Torch Festival takes "fire" as the subject, highlighting the "fire" culture of the Yi people, and embodying the good wishes of impeding ill fortune and praying for blessings, good harvest and happiness in life, focusing on the rich and colorful ethnic culture and humanities, and the harmonious coexistence of 20 ethnic groups, in which a social situation of common development and booming days are shown. During the festival, the "Torch Cup" basketball competition, the "Torch Cup" singer competition, and the traditional folk sports competitions such as shooting, spinning top, table tennis, badminton, and chess will be held. Moreover, there will be carnival and bonfire party  at three consecutive nights.

Dali Nanjian County Torch Festival

Time: August 6 (Lunar June 25)

Location: Nanjian County, Dali Prefecture

June 25th of the lunar calendar is the traditional torch festival for the Nanjian Yi ethnic people. On the day of the Torch Festival, it is customary to take the married girl back to home for celebrating the festival. During the day, every family will kill chickens and sheep, and prepare food and drink to worship the heaven and the earth, in order to pray for the good blessings of people, animals and crops.

 

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