Yunnan Visitor Center

Torch Festival

Date:24th to 26th of August (Sixth Month Of The Yi Calendar)

The Torch Festival or Fire Festival is one of the main Yi ethnic holidays in Yunnan,and is also celebrated by Bai,Naxi,Jinuo,Lagu,Hani and Pumi minorities.Yi ethnic torch festival is celebrated on the 24th June of Yi calendar,corresponding to August in the Gregorian calendar.

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 most attractive activity is the Bonfire Party. People play music instruments like Yueqin(Yi Ethnic Yukin ) and Sanxian(three stringed plucked instrument), singing and dancing for a whole night.

Usually a wide variety of folk activities are organised for the festival, such as buffalo fighting, goat fighting, rooster fighting, horse racing, wrestling, beauty pageant, and singing and dancing etc.

It commemorates the legendary wrestler Atilaba, who drove away a plague of locusts using torches made from pine trees.