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Updated: Apr 17, 2019 Print
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Junpo Festival

A lion dance is performed outside of a memorial museum of Madam Xian in Haikou, Hainan province [Photo/IC]

Junpo Festival, a national intangible cultural heritage, is an ancient Hainan festival of the Li people celebrating legends and contributions of Madam Xian, who played a vital role in uniting different minorities to develop Hainan between 513 and 603. She was praised by former premier Zhou Enlai as "the most prominent heroine in China's history."

The festival is divided into two parts: one celebrating male gods, and the other for goddesses. Participants burn incense, kowtow, dance, walk on coals, and even pierce their cheeks with long metal rods in honor of the gods during Junpo Festival.

It is also celebrated as Gongqi Festival in some old towns of Wenchang. Different gods and historical figures are celebrated in different parts of the island, with parades, fireworks, sacrificial ceremonies, and even fire jumping, knife climbing, and other displays of courage. Although the celebrations vary in each town and village, they are all meant to ensure safety and prosperity for the coming year.

Dates: 9th to 19th of the 2nd lunar month

Recommended location: 47 Xindazhou Road, Feng Village, Haikou

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