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Torch Festival marked at varied Yunnan localities

Updated:2017-07-17 12:12:21   english.yunnan.cn

Flaming torches, spectacular parades... The annual Torch Festival is coming! From July 13 on, Yunnan ethnicities, the Yi ethnic group in particular, start the celebration.

In Yunnan Nationalities Village, Kunming, tourists and people of the Yi, Bai, Naxi, Jinuo and other ethnic groups are enjoying a couple of exciting nights, singing and dancing hand in hand around the bonfires. The sky is reddened by hundreds of burning torches. 

On July 14, an ethnic dress competition was held to highlight the coming Torch Festival in central Yunnan’s Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, attracting contestants from all 16 prefectures and cities of the province.

In Kunming’s Shilin County, a holy fire-fetching ceremony was held at the Guishan fire altar on July 16. For the Sani branch of Yi people there, lighting the holy fire symbolizes harvest and hope. In the afternoon, various merry-making activities were held in Shilin’s Changhu Lake scenic area, including ethnic performances, Yi traditional snacks and handicrafts shows.

In Luanquan Yi and Miao autonomous county in northwest Kunming, the 2017 torch festival opened on Sunday evening. With the theme of "ethnic unity and poverty reduction", the celebration was highlighted by fire party and torch parade. In the following two days, soup-pot feasts, bull fighting and basketball games will also be held.

In E’shan Yi Autonomous County of central Yunnan’s Yuxi City, the torch-carnival festivities run from July 15 to 25. Activities involve fire-making by drilling wood, ancestor worship, lighting ceremony, as well as singing and dancing performances.

The Torch Festival, which is on the 24th day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar, is the most important occasion for Yi people to express their gratitude for a life of abundance and good wishes for the coming year.

The Yi people also call themselves the "people of fire.”In their tradition, fire is supposed to possess super power which can drive away evils and frighten off ghosts.

This year's torch festival falls on July 17. 

Chinese Reporting by Chen Yixi, Yang Zheng and Cai Zhifu; Trans-editing by Eric, Pana & Lawrence 

Keywords:   Torch Festival Yunnan localities