Minhe Mangghuer Torch Festival

The Torch Festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month (according to the Chinese lunar calendar) in the Mangghuer (Tu) areas of Minhe County. Each family makes a torch of wood and straw. When the moon rises, each family puts seven piles of straw outside their courtyard gate. Next, they light the torch in the main room of the home. A family member takes the burning torch and goes to each room of the home, as well as to the livestock pens, and then goes outside and lights at least one of the piles of straw. A family member then carries the burning torch to the top of a nearby hill. When this person leaves for the hill, other family members light the other piles of straw and jump over the burning piles of straw three times.

The torchbearers from each family in the village gather on the hill, put their torches together, and jump over this larger fire three times. Next, they return home and eat 'bianshi' or boiled stuffed dumplings.

This particular video was filmed and edited in 2004 by Wen Xiangcheng in Wenjia (Wen Family Village), Zhongchuan Township, Minhe Hui and Tu Autonomous County, Haidong Region, Qinghai Province, PR China. The festival is called 'Huoba Ghar' (Torch Ascend_a_Hill/Mountain_With_a_Torch).

Please click on the image below to play the film (57 MB).

Torch Festival