Yi's Torch Festival
The Legend of Yi's Torch Festival
The legend about the origin of torch festival is different. Some story said, in a battle between the God of heaven and the Earth God, the people used the torch to help the Earth God to defeat the God of Heaven. Among many a story, the legend of the Yi's hero defeated the devil is quite popular. In order to celebrate the victory, each lunar June 24th has been set as “Torch Festival”. The locals light the torch to drive away the home ghost and pray for peace.
In Yi language, they called torch festival as "Duze", which means fire worship. Fire is the symbolic of bright for the Yi's people. On that day, Yi people will light the torch, go to the rice field to participate in various activities, such as singing and dancing, horse-rice, wrestling or gathering.
Select the handsome boys and pretty girls
One of the most important activities in torch festival is to choose the beautiful people. Yi people has their special aesthetics views, the standard of beauty includes the appearance and moral character. For female: black hair, big eyes, thick eyebrows, high nose, long neck, smooth skin, trim figure (not too thin) and proper behavior and good character, hard-working. For male: brave and resourceful in battle, good-looking, vigorous and good manners. To keep fair, the judges are all the respectable old people.
Carnival in three days and three nights
The torch festival lasts for three days and three nights. The first day is called "Duzai", means to welcome the fire. People will slaughter pigs and sheep to welcome the God of fire. The horse wives will make some cakes. All family members sit down together at the same table, enjoy the family reunion dinner.
The second day is called "Duge", literally means praise the fire. It is the climax of the torch festival. At day break, men and women, old and young wear their beautiful festival clothes, take some food, and gather in the stage, to participate in a variety of traditional festival activities. When the fire goes out, the young men and women take a walk on the hill or walk into the bush, express their love to each other. So the torch festival is also called the "Oriental valentine's day".
The last day of torch festival is called "Duoha", that means to say goodbye to the fire. After supper, the Yi people will light the torch and get together to hold a sending fire ceremony. They will pray for the happiness, peace and the harvest.
There are some traditional activities, such as the wrestling, horse racing and Buffalo Fighting.
The meaning of torch festival
Among the traditional minority holiday in China, the torch festival is one of the most attractive festivals, it enjoys the title of" the top one Chinese national customs" and the "Oriental carnival night".
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