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Torch Festival
Publication time:2010-08-09  | Author:admin

The Torch Festival, ‘Duzai’ in the Yi Language, is a grand traditional festival of Yi People, and it has lasted for more than one thousand years. There are many legends about the origin of the Torch Festival. The most famous one goes like this: the God of Heaven sent down a warrior to exploit farmers on the earth, but the Yi hero Zhigealu commanded the farmers to fight against this warrior. In the end, the warrior was killed, and the God got angry. He sent insects to destroy crops and damage farmers’ houses. However, Zhigealu led farmers to light torches everywhere to burn up the insects. Finally, they killed all the insects and defeated the God. That day was June 24th of the lunar calendar. To honor the victory over the insects, the local people set that day as the Torch Festival, and this festival has lasted until today. 3Le彝族人网(彝人网)- 彝族文化网络博物馆

3Le彝族人网(彝人网)- 彝族文化网络博物馆

Carnival Night of the Torch FestivalThree groups of activities take place during the Torch Festival.One includes the slaughtering of pigs and sheep, sacrificing meat and liquor to ancestors, visiting relatives and sharing good wishes.3Le彝族人网(彝人网)- 彝族文化网络博物馆

Another group consists of interesting programs and performances. Bullfighting, sheep fighting, cock fighting, horse racing, wrestling and other such traditional sports are held.  There are also entertainment activities like singing the ‘Duolehe Song’ and a beauty contest. All present sing and dance together to enjoy the happiness of the event. This is also the occasion for young people to look for a life partner during a time of antiphonal singing.
Thirdly, there is marching with torches. When the night comes, people light torches and walk about the mountain.  It looks like all the stars are falling down to the earth. Eventually those holding the burning torches gather together to form a fire dragon and march through the countryside or on the sports ground. Young people light a bonfire and sing and dance around it. Flowers of love flowers bloom on the occasion, and one can see many young men and women in love with each other walking hand in hand in the moonlight toward the forest. 3Le彝族人网(彝人网)- 彝族文化网络博物馆

3Le彝族人网(彝人网)- 彝族文化网络博物馆

Bullfighting3Le彝族人网(彝人网)- 彝族文化网络博物馆

On four occasions, The Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture has successfully held an International Torch Festival. Many foreign guests, including ambassadors to China and commercial counselors, representatives of well-known foreign enterprises in China, reporters of world famous news agencies, chairmen of foreign industrial and commercial institutions, officials of international charitable institutions, and officials of enterprises from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have enjoyed participation in one or other International Torch Festival. The Torch Festival has become an outstand Liangshan tourist venue and a distinguished international event. The Indigenous Art Council of China has adjudged Liangshan Yi People’s Torch Festival as one of China’s top ten folk customs and cultural festivals.3Le彝族人网(彝人网)- 彝族文化网络博物馆

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