Events in Kunming

Updated: Apr 10, 2019 Print
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Torch Festival


The Torch Festival or Fire Festival, the biggest holiday of the Yi people of southwestern China [Photo/VCG]

For centuries, the Yi people of southwestern China have celebrated their biggest holiday of the year, the Torch Festival or Fire Festival, over three days during the sixth lunar month.

It commemorates the legendary wrestler Atilabia, who drove away a plague of locusts using torches made from pine trees, and often had the purpose of offering sacrifice to duties and dispelling ghosts, as a wish for harvest.

In the Torch Festival, every family needs to light a torch and hold the torch to illuminate the corners in the room and walk around the fields. Some villagers even have torch parade so as to drive away all bad luck and pray for a harvest. The most attractive activity is the Bonfire Party. People play musical instruments like sanxian (three stringed plucked instrument), singing and dancing for the entire night.


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