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Mouding County Culture

Mouding county (牟定县) is located in Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan province, China.It is situated in the north-central part of Yunnan province.The county is 57.6 kilometers from north to south, and 53.6 kilometers from west to east at most.Within the territory of Mouding County,the highest elevation is 2879 meters, and the lowest elevation is 1140 meters,while the average elevation is 1758 meters in the county town of Gonghe. By 2012, Mouding county has the distribution of ethnic Yi, Bai, Dai, Zhuang, Miao, Hui, Lisu, Lahu, and so on. Yi  occupies 20.04% of the total population. Various minorities promote the long-standing and colorful culture here.


Traditions and Customs of Torch Festival in Each Dynasty

The Torch Festival or Fire Festival (Chinese: 火把节; pinyin: Huǒbǎ Jié) is one of the main holidays of the Yi people of southwest China, and is also celebrated by other ethnic groups of the region. It is celebrated on the 24th or 25th day of the sixth month of the Yi calendar, corresponding to August in the Gregorian calendar. It commemorates the legendary wrestler Atilaba, who drove away a plague of locusts using torches made from pine trees. Since 1993, the government of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan has sponsored a modernised celebration of the festival, featuring wrestling, horse racing, dance shows, and a beauty contest. Different groups set the festival at different time. 


In the Torch Festival, every family needs to light a torch and hold the torch to illuminate the corners in the room and walk around the fields. Some villagers even have torch parade so as to drive away all bad lucks and pray for a harvest. The custom of holding a torch to shed light on tree and field was found in Han people in Southern Song Dynasty. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, people in Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces had the custom as well. The most attractive activity is the Bonfire Party. People play music instruments like Yusheng(乐声), yueqin(月琴) and sanxian(three stringed plucked instrument), singing and dancing for a whole night.

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