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Fire dragons dance for blessings by King of the Inferno


Updated: 2021-09-09

The 300-year-old folk custom of Burning Bamboo Stick Incense was celebrated in Hengshan Village in Lianzhou Town of Doumen District on Sept 6 as sacrifice to the "King of the Inferno."

Every household in the village placed incense resting-piers at their doorstep and burned it for blessings at dusk on the 30th day of the seventh lunar month. The rite is 300 years old in Doumen District but originated on Jiuhua Mt in Anhui 1,200 years ago. Likewise, in the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), villagers in Suzhou worshiped the King of the Inferno and believed that burning incense towers could bring luck for their lives and harvests.


Fire dragons dance around burners of incense [Photo by Zhang Fan / Guanhai App]

The ritual commenced at 7 pm when two large "fire dragons" danced to roaring gong and drum rhythms. Two small fire dragons displayed by Hengshan Central Primary School students followed suit to pray for good fortune, safety, and favorable weather for crops.

The event was hosted by Doumen Cultural Center's Lianzhou Branch and Lianzhou Cultural Station under auspices of the Doumen Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center and Lianzhou New-Era Civilization Practice Institute.  

It promoted the inheritance of the Provincial Intangible Cultural Heritage among the younger generations, tapped into Doumen's cultural and tourism resources, and polished its brand as a Folk Culture & Art Hometown in Guangdong Province.

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