xi's moments

Black Face Festival a fiery fete in Yunnan's Puzhehei

By Xu Lin and Li Yingqing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-01-21 15:51

Puzhehei scenic area in Qiubei county, Yunnan province, is known for its karst landforms, lakes, mountains, caves and wetlands.

Puzhehei means "a pond teaming with fish and shrimp" in the Yi people's language. It has become a popular destination after Chinese TV series like Eternal Love were filmed there.

Xianrendong village in the scenic area is inhabited by the Sani, a branch of the Yi ethnic group. Villagers used to go fishing and work the land for a living. The boom of tourism has helped them shake off poverty and build up wealth.

In a bonfire party to welcome tourists, the Sani people plastered black charcoal ashes on each other's faces. In ancient times, their ancestors did so to drive away demons. Nowadays, young people do so to express love for others.

The Black Face Festival is celebrated annually in summer in Puzhehei. But villagers also perform its traditions for tourists in normal times.

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