Firecracker Festival of Dong Ethnic Group

Firecracker Festival (Huapao Festival) is a grand traditional festival celebrated together by Dong, Zhuang and Melao ethnic people in China. On the third day of the third Chinese lunar month every year (usually falls on early – middle April), from the Dong villages in Guizhou to Zhuang Villages in Guangxi, the passionate ethnic people take Firecracker Festival seriously by changing into the colorful festival costumes, and enjoy their happiest time of the year by participating the competitive activities like Firecracker Grabbing Game.

There is a legendary story about the origin of the Firecracker Festival. Long long time ago, a Dong girl saved a little fish by killing a water snake. In fact, the fish was daughter of dragon king. To thank the Dong girl for saving her life, the princess strewed flowers to the sky from the water, and visited the Dong village frequently. However, the dragon king got angry, and locked her daughter up. Since then, Dong people strewed flowers, later set off firecrackers along the river to memorize the princess.

Dong people in China

Firecracker Festival in Fulu Town 

Fulu Town in Sanjiang Dong Minority Autonomous Prefecture has the liveliest and most magnificent Firecracker Festival. During the festival, people of every walk of life dress up, and can’t wait to join the parade, singing and dancing together with the music of Lusheng, drums, and other local instruments. There are a variety of activities, of which, Firecracker Grabbing came is the most exciting one and highlight of the festival.

Firecracker Festival in Fulu, Sanjiang

Firecracker Grabbing Game

Each of the firecrackers wears an iron ring wrapped with red threads. After a simple ceremony, the firecracker will be set off, and then the iron ring will be launched to the air with a thud. The Firecracker Grabbing came begins. When the iron ring falls to the ground, all teams (comprised of family male members or village male members) will strive to scramble for the target, as exciting as rugby. The game is played for three times: the initial ring stands for safety and prosperity, the secondary ring for wealth, and the third ring for promotion and a good future. The winners will be awarded food and household items, such as pig, sheep, eggs and wine. 

Outgrowing its past as a folk religious rite, today Firecracker Grabbing came is considered as an athletics sports activity, and has been listed as an event of the National Traditional Ethnic-Minority Sports Meet.

Activities of Firecracker Festival

Firecracker Festival in Longsheng

Firecracker Grabbing came is also popular in Longsheng, Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Furthermore, there are other activities including singing folk songs, Gui Opera show, Lusheng playing, bull, horse, and bird fighting, and comedy works. Firecracker Festival is a grand meeting for all ethnic people, and promotes the commodity trade in remote areas. 

Trip to Longsheng, Guilin

What to see on Firecracker Festival