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Torch Festival of Yi People Xichang Liangshan Tour - 12 Days

Destination: Torch Festival of Yi People Xichang Liangshan
Duration: no date
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Transportation: Vehicle
Best Travel Time:Aug - Oct
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Torch Festival or Fire Festival is one of the main holidays of the Yi people of southwest China, and is also celebrated by other ethnic groups of the region. It is celebrated on the 24th or 25th day of the sixth month of the Yi calendar, corresponding to August in the Gregorian calendar. It commemorates the legendary wrestler Atilaba, who drove away a plague of locusts using torches made from pine trees.The government of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan has sponsored a modernised celebration of the festival, featuring wrestling, horse racing, dance shows, and a beauty contest. 

In the Torch Festival, every family needs to light a torch and hold the torch to illuminate the corners in the room and walk around the fields. Some villagers even have torch parade so as to drive away all bad lucks and pray for a harvest. The custom of holding a torch to shed light on tree and field was found in Han people in Southern Song Dynasty. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, people in Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces had the custom as well. The most attractive activity is the Bonfire Party. People play music instruments like Yusheng , yueqin and sanxian(three stringed plucked instrument), singing and dancing for a whole night.

Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$1700/persons 1700USD/Person

Day01 Arrive in Chengdu
Arrive in Chengdu, capital of province Sichuan, the home town of Panda. Picked up by the local guide at airport and transferred to hotel.

Day02 Chengdu - Ebian - Heizhugou Valley
In the morning drive via Jiajiang and Ebian to Heizhugou Valley (Black Bamboo Valley). After lunch get on the local bus and visit Heizhugou Valley. The vegetation here is very lush. It's easy to explore the strange flowers, weird stones, springs, waterfalls and Fargesia. In this beautiful and mystical valley, you can find diverse wildlife. Those various legends and myths also make Heizhugou valley more mystical. It is regarded as The Bermuda in China.

Day03 Heizhugou 每 Dafengding - Meigu
In the morning head out to Meigu county. En route pass-by Dafengding Natural Reserve and visit its ecological environment. It is built primarily for the protection of forests and wild animals, especially the Giant Panda and its habitat. In Meigu, visit the research center of the Bimo culture. The Yi people are animists, with elements of Daoism, shamanism and fetishism. Shamans (medicine men) are known as ※Bimo§, which means the master who can chant ancient documents. The Bimo culture is the culture of Yi ethnic group, which is created by Yi people and their "Bimo". The Bimo govern the relationship between humans and deities. Bimo officiate at births, funerals, weddings and fetes. They are often seen along the street consulting ancient scripts. As animists, Yi worship the spirits of ancestors, fire, hills, trees, rocks, water, earth, sky, wind, and forests. Magic plays a major role in daily life through healing, exorcism, asking for rain, cursing enemies, blessing, divination and analysis of one's relationship with the spirits.

Day04 Meigu - Zhaojue - Butuo
Drive via Zhaojue to Butuo. In the evening participate in the Torch Festival at Butuo, which is organized by local government.

Day05 Butuo - Songtao - Xichang
Drive via Songtao to Xichang, the capital of Liangshan Autonomous district for Yi Minority. En route visit the Songtao Forest Park. In the afternoon visit Qionghai Lake, Museum of Slave Society of Yi Nationality, Datong tower, and the workshops for handicrafts. The Qionghai Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in China. The museum is the only museum of social formation in China and is rated as a historical and cultural site under government protection. It is also the only theme museum in China that makes the exhibition and study of slave society as its principle. Exhibits on display are able to shed a light on the politics, economies, military aspects, religions, histories and cultures of a slave society.

Day06 Xichang - Luoji Shan - Puge
Excursion to Luoji Shan (Mountain of the snail-like hair). The Luoji Mountain covers an area of 2.400 square kilometers. Its main peak, Yeeryu, is 4.359 meters high and looks like a green snail or a snail-like hairstyle. This is the source of its name. There are five wonders: glaciers notch, blade slope of the pyramid summit, the flowers sea of azaleas, Five Colored Lakes and Waterfalls. Take cable transfer up hill and check out the beauty of Mt. Luoji Shan. Then drive to Puge.

Day07 Puge 
Full-day participation in the Torch Festival at Puge. Overnight at 3*Hot Spring Hotel

Day08 Puge - Xichang
Return to Xichang. In the evening, take part in the torch-carnival at torch square in Xichang.

Day09 Xichang 每 Old Town Lizhou - Mianning - Jiulong
Drive to the Old Town Lizhou (located 23 km from Xichang). This town was originally built in the Western Han Dynasty. Most buildings can be traced back to the period of Qing Dynasty and the buildings was made of bricks, earth and woods. You will see the old city gate, the deep narrow lanes with black ground, old houses, ancient temples, pagoda and tea houses. Then drive along the "corridor of the Tibetans and Yi peoples" passing villages and mountains to Jiulong.

Day10 Jiulong - Xinduqiao 每 Kangding
Excursion to Wuxu Hai Lake (25 km away from the town of Jiulong), it's an important part of the Gongga Mountain (Minya Konka, 7556 m). The lake is known as "the first lake in Kahm". Then drive crossing the Jichou Mountain to Riluku Grassland. Then drive to Xinduqiao. Xinduqiao is a small but import town at the juncture of the North and South Sichuan-Tibet Highway. If whether allows, we can explore the main peak of Mt Gongga (7556m) from afar at the mountain back of the local family. Cross over Zheduo Shan Pass (4298 m) to Kangding, the capital of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and the important juncture of Tibetan and Han People in history.

Day11 Kangding 每 Luding 每 Yaan 每 Chengdu
Drive to Luding and crossing through the 4.1 km long tunnel of Mt. Erlang Shan to Yaan. Highlights of Yaan are Bifengxia Panda Base and Shangli Ancient Town. Bifengxia Panda Base has been long famous for the forest coverage, waterfalls, river and breathtaking landscapes. After the violent earthquake in Sichuan, the panda base in Ya'an is the largest panda reserve base in the world, with over 80 giant pandas. There are over 20 research laboratories and feeding centers including Panda Breeding Spots, Panda Kindergarten, Panda Hospital and the Research Centers. Then we drive to Shangli Ancient Town. Old Town of Shangli is called an ※ink and Wash Landscape§ painting. Situated in the Western Sichuan Basin, the town was once the important post on the Silk Road of the South and the Ancient Tea-Horse Trail in history. Keep drive along Chengdu-Yaan Express Way back to Chengdu.

Day12 Leave Chengdu
Transfer to airport and see off.

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