Pan’an Intangible Culture: Fire Stamping
发布日期:2022-09-21 浏览次数:

Since ancient times, Pan’an has been known as a picturesque locale where mountains stretch and layer across the horizon, and crystal springs dig deep into hidden valleys and bamboo forests. Pan’an's unique landscape endowment, geographical location, and historical evolution have given birth to a special environment for human tradition.

As a result, the intangible cultural heritage of Pan’an derives from the surrounding mountains and waterways. Such tradition is not only the crystallization of people’s wisdom, but also expresses their yearning and pursuit for a better life. In Pan’an’s intangible cultural heritage, we must mention three representative items which are recognized as national-level intangible cultural heritage: Fire Stamping, Tea Market Temple Fair, and Flag Dancing.

Fire Stamping: A Group of Warriors Dance with Fire

As night falls, a volcano made of charcoal fire sits in an open space. The charcoal fires burn red and crackles. Amidst the beats of gongs and drums, a group of barefoot warriors whistle while holding flat-headed knives. They stir up charcoal fires while stepping over the volcano one after another. This is an Internet video of Fire Stamping that encapsulates the thrilling tradition.

It is named after the tradition of people walking through the charcoal fire with bare feet. A tradition that is popular in the southwestern mountainous area of Pan’an. It has a history of more than 700 years and brings along the mystic atmosphere of the region.

With its origins in the ancestral tradition of fire worship, Fire Stamping is a symbol of the ancient customs. It includes many historical features of fire-making, witchcraft, religion, and folklore. Every year around the festivals of Chongyang, Mid-Autumn, and Sir Hugong, large-scale fire stamping events take place with the attendance of several dozens of trainees.

In Pan’an, Fire Stamping ceremonies differ from place to place. There are two primary kinds of traditional celebrations: “passing a volcano” and “making a sea of fire.” The Fire Stamping scene mentioned above is “passing a volcano.” The tradition around the area of Xinwo Subdistrict is known as “making a sea of fire.” The red-burning charcoals are flattened into a fire altar with a diameter of more than 10 meters and a thickness of about 20 centimeters.

These fire stampers are traditionally depicted as true warriors and extraordinary people who dare to walk barefoot on fire. (Translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Daniel Haws)

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