National Culture Heritages in Guangxi (Festivals)
The Ziyuan Lantern Festival
The Ziyuan Lantern Festival boasts a long history. The Ziyuan county event covers many activities, including a singing contest of mountain songs, a competition for designing and making river lanterns, exhibitions of the lanterns, displays of agricultural products, as well as promotion of the northern Guangxi folk customs street. During the Zhongyuan Festival, or Hungry Ghost Festival, which falls on July 14 of the Chinese lunar calendar, people take part in a unique and solemn sacrifice ritual, drifting the river lanterns, to worship ancestors and pray for peace and happiness.
The Firecracker Dragon Festival in Binyang
Honored as "China's Carnival," the Firecracker Dragon Festival, which falls on the 11th day of the first month of the Lunar New Year, was inscribed into the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritages in 2008.
It is an original local festival celebrated by both the ethnic Han and the Zhuang people of the region. It consists of various cultural activities, such as a night show, fireworks, firecracker dragons, an expo on intangible cultural heritages, a 100-family banquet, as well as calligraphy, painting, and photo exhibitions.
Every firecracker dragon has a length of 30 to 40 meters, and is regarded as a holy symbol of the Chinese New Year.
With dragons, drums, eight categories of musical instruments used in ancient music, flower baskets, and torches, the Binyang-style dragon dance is a derivative of traditional dragon dances, in which performers hold dragons on poles and walked through floods of firecrackers.
Bare-chested performers hold dragons on poles, as people march and dance on the streets. While the dragon dance is going on, firecrackers thrown by local residents and visitors are set off. This custom has a tradition of over 1,000 years in Binyang.
People celebrate the Firecracker Dragon Festival in Binyang. [Photo/ gxfybhw.cn]