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Nanhua County Culture

Nanhua County is a district of hills in the northwest and mountains in the southeast,with some embankment and canyons. The highest peak is Incense temple mountain, rising to 2861.1 meters in the Longtan Mountain of Red Soil Town, and the lowest point is 963 meters in Majie county. It has an area of 2343 square kilometers, population of 239.9 thousand. 

By the end of 2012, Nanhua county has an ethnic minority population of 102912 , which accounts for 42.9% of the total population, including 90721 yi, 37.8% of the population; Bai 9215 people, accounting for 3.8% of the population; Hui 2093, accounting for 0.9% 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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