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Knife-Pole Festival of Lisu

(CNTV)

10:23, August 05, 2011

Date: 2nd day of the second lunar month, usually in March.

Place: Yunnan Province


Knife-Pole Festival of Lisu is the most breathtaking minority festival.

Activities: As a traditional festival of Lisu ethnic minority, the Knife-Pole Festival expresses good wishes to everyone of the Lisu. A phrase describing bravery in China goes like this, "climbing the Knife Mountain and diving into the Fire Sea" and the Knife-Pole Festival is a vivid depiction of this. On the eve of the festival, a grand bonfire is set alight with people dancing around it, later, some of the bolder men leap in the fire, extinguishing it barefooted. It is widely believed that through this act all manner of disasters will be averted.

In the middle of the 2nd day of the second lunar month, the other activity, which represents 'climbing the Knife Mountain' is the highlight of the festival and attracts numerous spectators. 20-meter-high poles, each affixed with 72 razor sharp knives are erected. After drinking a cup of wine, the warriors begin to ascend the pole via the sharpened blades. Upon reaching to the top, they are rewarded with impassioned applauses, whilst they light firecrackers and throw small red flags to the crowds, showering good luck upon everyone. The remainder of the day is for the young, throwing pouches to each other to show love. Nowadays, climbing poles via knives as rungs is recognized as the traditional sport of the Lisu people.

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