中文 |

Yiliang celebrates Lunar New Year with a bustling folk fair

By : InKunming | Published: 2018-February-24

[InKunming--Kunming] On February 23 (the eighth day of the first month of the lunar year), the annual temple fair was staged in Beigu town Yiliang county, which attracted villagers from different places to celebrate the traditional Chinese Lunar New Year together.

A parade officially began in the sound of firecrackers, which was composed of the performance teams from all the communities in the county. Eight people carried a nine-meter high joss stick going through the streets. The procession started from the north of the government of Beigu town, and marched to the stage with a lot of people playing lion dance and stilt walking. Audiences standing on both sides of the street cheered for these traditional folk culture programs.

There are ten huge joss sticks standing beside the stage. Each stick is decorated with different themes, such as twelve Chinese zodiac signs, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Water Margin. When the march team back to the stage, these joss sticks will be lit and it will take half a month to burn out. These burning sticks will be regarded as bring good luck and blessing to people who wish for it.

Tourists have the chance to try the taste of old Kunming food. Sweet miscellaneous sugar being produced in traditional hand-made method with green, read, and yellow color attract people come and experience a strong festive atmosphere here.

It is known that this temple fair is a typical village fair in Yunnan province, and it is normally held on the eighth day of the first lunar month. It began in the late Yuan and early Ming dynasty and has been around for nearly 700 years. The temple fair has preserved many traditional folk customs among which the most characteristic one is joss stick burning.

Zhang Guozhong, a 56-year-old non-material inheritor has made the huge joss sticks nearly 20 years. According to his introduction, it generally takes three months to make a pair of joss sticks. It requires the craftsman being able to painting and sculpture. The wick inside is the most difficult to do. There are more than 10 working procedures for on joss stick, which needs to be completed with 300 kilograms of bamboo. The glue must also be made from a plant growing in remote mountains. For environmental protection, Zhang Guozhong made some improvements to the material selection, replacing a plant material with iron pipes. He said, “I start to make joss sticks in November. If you have the interest to learn, you can come and learn from me.” He hopes this traditional skills could be inherit in the future.

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(Editors: Christine, Rachel)

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