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The Dong Nationality Fireworks Festival is celebrated on the third day of the third lunar month (March or April) in Yinshui Dong Stockaded Village, Longsheng Various Nationalities Autonomous County, Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (广西壮族自治区 桂林市 龙胜各族自治县 银水侗寨)
The Dong Nationality Fireworks Festival has been called "The Chinese Carnival of the Dong". It is an important and traditional festival of the Dong nationality. The festival includes rich and varied activities with strong ethnic characteristics. It is undoubtedly a great chance for you to experience real Dong minority customs!
In Longsheng County local people always make lucky firecrackers for their auspicious meaning. A firecracker is simply-made with a small steel hoop wrapped in red silk put on the top of the firecracker, symbolizing good luck and fortune.
After a lucky firecracker is lit, it flies up and falls down on the ground, and then everyone will scramble to get it! Local people consider the man who gets it will have everything go well in the coming year.
The Dong chorus is a kind of multi-tone folk song, with no conductor or musical accompaniments, but an amazing natural harmony, which can be dated back to the Spring and Autumn period (771–476 BC). During the festival many local Dong people get together and sing their own songs in the Dong dialect.
A team of local Dong people will dress up in their own national costumes and parade through streets. It is a fantastic display of minority clothing.
"Caitang" means dancing in a hall. Young men dance to express their love to girls. The best performer will get a girls’ hearts. So every young Dong man learns a "Caitang" dance from childhood. You will see the pure love between Dong youth in the performance.
The lusheng is an ancient Chinese instrument (a reed-pipe wind instrument). During the festival many expert Dong musicians participate in the competition. It is a great chance for tourists to enjoy ancient Chinese music.
The campfire party is an interesting part of the festival. The hospitable local Dong people treat guests very amicably. They will invite you to dance, sing songs, and barbecue with them. The bonfire night with its delicious meals, happy dancing, and beautiful songs will be a memorable part of your tour.
Other activities include dragon-lion dances, firework displays, and bird fighting.
Local Specialties: citrus fruit, apple pear, camellia oil, Longji tea, mushrooms, red bayberry sweetmeat, sweet potato, preserved fruit, etc.
Coming from folklore and old religious-based customs, the Dong Nationality Fireworks Festival has a history of more than 2,000 years in Longsheng County. Since the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) the Dong people celebrate the festival as a blessing ceremony. Nowadays it has become a combination of tradition, entertainment, and tourism.
Cost: Yinshui Dong Stockaded Village is a famous tourist destination in Guilin. It is 50 yuan per person (open: 8:30am–4:30pm)
How to get there: Longsheng County is located in northwest Guilin Prefecture. It is 87 kilometers from Guilin city. Yinshui Dong Stockaded Village is in the west of Longsheng. You can easily take a bus from Guilin bus station, which costs only 20 yuan.
What you need: Remember to bring a thick coat to keep warm at night, because the temperature difference between day and night in the mountains is large.
Nearby attractions: Longsheng Hotsprings, Longji Rice Terraces, Longji Canyon Rafting, Longsheng Yanmenxia Rafting, Longji's Rape Flowers (seasonal), Yinshui Wind and Rain Bridge, Diaojiao Building (suspended building), etc.