Torch Festival of Yi
Date: 24th to 26th day of the sixth lunar month
Place: Sichuan Province
Torch Festival of Yi is the most ceremonious minority dance.
Activities: Recognized as the grandest traditional festival of the Yi ethnic minority, the Torch Festival is full of rich and colorful activities. Worshiping ancestors, visiting relatives and friends to convey their best wishes are the main events of the first day. Bull and sheep fighting, horse racing, cockfighting, singing competition, beauty contest, wrestling and tug-of-wars etc. are held on the second day allowing everyone to compete and play to their heart content.
The climax comes in the evening of the third day, large bonfires are lit while people sit, sing, and dance around them the whole night. In the eyes of the Yi, the torch symbolizes happiness and chasteness and brings good luck to the people. Because the festival is of such a frantic and ardent atmosphere, people from other countries refer to it as "the Carnival with Chinese Characteristics".