On the third day of the third lunar month of every tear, the Dong in Sanjiang celebrate the Fireworks Festival, also known as "Sanyuesan". While this festival is also observed in several Dong areas on the first and second lunar months, the largest celebration is held in a town called Fulu in Sanjiang County, Guangxi province. Dong, Miao and Yao nationalities attend this yearly event, each dressed in their respective festive dress. Peasants and peddlers line the streets and riverbank with their wares, providing a wide range of products: weaving and spinning equipment, silk threads, furniture, clothing, tools and appliances.
The Fireworks Festival has been celebrated in Fulu town for over one hundred years. Competitive activities dominate this festival, abounding in explosions of firecrackers. "Grabbing the Hoop" is the most popular game. Thousands of people from a ring around a bonfire, awaiting the arrival of young men carrying the "huapao"-three metal hoops that are individually wrapped in red cloth and placed on top of three long cylinders containing explosives. They are led by a procession of musicians, and followed by carriers of prizes. When lit, these three huge firecrackers carry the hoops skyhigh. As it descends, 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, called "pao-ping" which are filled with meat, money and rice wine, and are decorated with paper figures, horses, houses, flowers and mirror. The responsibility of providing the awards and firecrackers for the next festival falls on the winners.
A procession of musicians blowing lushengs and suona horns (a wood-wind instrument) lines the riverbank in the late afternoon, loaded with firecrackers, paper-flowers and awards. As the winners accept their trophies, a deafening blast of firecrackers, gongs, drums and suona horns fills the region.
In the evening, people return to their villages. Local Dong operas are performed, and sometimes a film is shown, while a lusheng party is held under a huge banyan tree. Families entertain each other with wine and good food, especially guests who have come from far places. Throughout the night the young people sit around firdpits, singing and plucking tuned on their pipas (a stringed instrument). Activities of this festival not only offer courtship opportunities for the young, but also give the entire community a momentary escape from life's everyday toil.
Zhaoxing Tang'An Chengyang
Culture of Dongs
Sanyuejie Festival Marriage Customs Music New Year Traditional costumes
Drum Towers Flower Bridges Lusheng Festival
Dong Houses Carrying the Governors Parade
Drama Rice Planting Traditional Common Law Worship the Goddess Sa Sui