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Sanyuesan Festival

Sanyuesan Festival

On the third day of the lunar month of each year, the Dong ethnic groups in Sanjiang celebrate by lighting fireworks in Sanyuesan Festival of Dong Ethnic Groups. It is also known as "Sanyuesan.” The largest celebration of this festival is held in Fulu, Sanjiang County, Guangxi province. Dong, Miao and Yao minority groups all attend this annual event with each person wearing their respective festive dress.

On this day, people light fireworks. This tradition has had a history in Fulu town for more than 4 hundred years. There are many competitions during the festival, despite the lighting of firecrackers. "Grabbing the Hoop" is the most popular game. Thousands of people gather around a bonfire, waiting for the arrival of young men who carry the "huapao" (three metal hoops that are individually wrapped in red cloth and placed on top of three long cylinders containing explosives) with a ring in each. They are led by a marching group of musicians and followed by carriers of prizes. When lit, these three firecrackers shoot the hoops up high. As it falls off, a hundred or more young men grab for the ring. This activity is played three times, once for each ring. The first ring stands for wealth and long life, the second for promotions and the third for fertility. The lucky winners are awarded colorfully decorated trophies which are called "pao-ping." These trophies are filled with meat, money and rice wine, and are decorated with paper figures, horses, houses, flowers and mirror. The responsibility of providing awards and firecrackers for the next festival fall is based on the winners. As winners accept their trophies, a blast of firecrackers, gongs, drums and suona horns surround the region.

At night, people return to their villages. Local Dong operas are performed, and sometimes a film is played. A lusheng party is often held under a huge banyan tree. Families entertain each other with wine and delicious food, especially guests who have come far. Throughout the night young people sit around, singing and dancing. Activities of this festival not only offer courtship opportunities for the young, but also give the entire community an escape from the daily lives.