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Torch Festival of Yi ethnic minority
Torch Festival of Yi - the most ceremonious minority dance Date: 24th to 26th day of the sixth lunar month Place: Sichuan Province 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'.
Chinese Dishes and Their Stories:Dongpo Meat
Many famous Chinese dishes have stories attached to them that are as enter-taining to diners as the dishes themselves are satisfying to the taste buds. Most of the stories involve noted figures in Chinese history. In Hangzhou in East china’s Zhejiang Province, there is a well-known dish called Dongpo Meat. It is named after su Dongpo, a literary giant who lived about 900 years ago. The story is that when he was the prefectural governor of Hang zhou, hé had a dam built across the West Lake. The lake was dredged and became a rich source of irrigation for the farmland, thus making it possible for the local people to have a bumper harvest each year. The dam is now known as the sudi Dam. When the spring Festival arrived, many folks went to Su Dongpo’s home to wish him Happy New Year. They took along pork and wine to show their thanks. Su Dongpo accepted the gifts. But then he and the meat cooked in a special way and sent it on to the families of the people who had worked on the West Lake dredging project. The local people greatly praised su dongpo for this good deed and named the dish Dongpo Meat. One restaurant manager was very quick to capitalize on the name. When he saw how popular the dish proved, he asked his cook to prepare the meat in the same way. His business soon jflourished. Of course, other restaurants began to copy him. Before long, Dongpo Meat was available in every restaurant in Hangzhou. Soon, Dongpo Meat ranked first on the list of local dishes. Even today, when people there hold a feast, Dongpo Meat is still often featured.
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