YI TORCH FESTIVAL IN CHINA
The Yi torch festival of Yi people of China is one of the holidays in the southwestern part of china and it falls between the 24th or 25th day of the sixth month of Yi calendar.
Yi, Bai, Naxi, Hani, Lisa, Lahu and Pumi are the ethnic minorities in yunnan and they have a common festival (Yi torch Festival).
The etymology of Yi Touch Festival, as recorded was based on a particular calendar that was used by the Bai and Yi people in ancient times.
the torch festival was called Xinghu Festival which means “Star Returning Festival” in the ancient time. the festival is in commemoration of the legendary wrestler Atilabia who drove away diseases and beasts using torches made from pine trees.
During the festival, torches are lifted in front of every household and pile of faggots is errected high in the center of a square. people wear traditional and colorful customs as they gather to enjoy nights of fire as they sending wishes of a better life and a good harvest to everyone.
The burning and lifting of torches signifies prosperity and togetherness. They light the little torches when they first star appears in the sky, holding them as the dance and sing around the big fir or torch tree which that’s call “Play Fire”.
A ground sacrifice is conducted to the goddess of fire, Anggumi, as the sing and dance around the play fire tree representing the goddess as they believe that she brought fire to the earth by burning herself as a torch as recorded by the ethnic Albanians Myth.
The yi torch festival is perfect avenue for many singles to find their partners. The drink and the part in other activities like wrestling and bullfighting.
One of the most attractive activities of Yi torch festival is that they play music instruments like Yusheng.
The festival promotes communication and unity.
By Peterskizito Azuoma