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The Distinctive folk activities in Pingyao Shehuo

I’m sure many of you have heard about Spring Lantern Festival of China. But do you know how Chinese people celebrate it in that day. In fact, there exist different folk activities performed by people from place to place. In the ancient city, Pingyao, people called the folk activity performance as Shehuo. “She” refers to “the god of earth” and “huo” means “the legendary god of fire”. This kind of folk recreational activity shows local people’s happiness and expressing their good wishes. With the changes of the times, Pingyao has formed its unique characteristics of Shehuo. Today, I’ll take you to look at the distinctive folk activities in Pingyao Shehuo.


  1. Land Boat

The boat is made of bamboo strips, wooden strips, and colored silks. It is surrounded by silks and satins and covered with wooden strips. During the performance, the accompaniment is played by the drums. A woman is the boat with the boat carried on the shoulder then aother person plays the boatman, holding the paddle in front.



  1. Stilts

The leg of stilts is made of two wooden sticks. At the upper end of stick, the footboards are horizontally mounted. When the performance is performed, the actor step on the footboard with his scalf tied to the upper end of the wooden stick and perform according to various dance steps.



  1. Tai Ge

The iron rod is fixed on the upper end of the lifting rod which is decorated with various props such as lotus flower and colorful cloud. Then three or four male and female children playing various drama characters and mythological stories are fixed on the irons, and are carried by the adult man. Then the children perform when the adults are walking.

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  1. Bamboo Horse

The bamboo horse is made of bamboo or bamboo stalks whose outside appearance is made of painted crepe. It is divided into two sections, which are fixed in the chest and back of the 12-year-old boy with several small brass bells tied to their bodies.




  1. Ti Yang Ko

A performer who swayed therattle-drums, sings auspicious and funny songs in the Pingyao dialect. When the performer sings, all kinds of musical instruments suddenly hit together.


  1. Push Car

The unicycle frame is made of wooden strips, and the left and right sides are covered with cloth drawed the wheels. During the performance, one person plays the woman in the car, driving the car with a ribbon.



  1. Big-Head Monk Dance

This kind of dance is usually played by two people. One person plays a monk (male), wearing a paper-headed mask, holding a cattail leaf fan or horsetail whisk; then another person plays Liu Cui (female), with a handkerchief. The two chased each other, twisting, swinging, chasing, pulling. It is very exaggerated and humorous.



  1. Gie Gie Gao

On the face of it, it is similar to the Bei Gun performance, but it is actual more difficult. The performers are mostly boys and girls of about 7 years old. They are dressed up as various drama characters and stand on the shoulders of adult performers without any tie. The performance heavily relies on the strength of children’s legs.



  1. Dragon Dances

The head of the dragon is made of bamboo, wood, cloth and other materials, and the body of the is made of bamboo rings. During the performance, one person used a wooden pole to lift the faucet. More than a dozen people used wooden poles to lift the dragon body and the dragon tail. One person in front had a colored ball to lead the dragon.

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  1. Bei gun

The back stick is usually performed by two people. The man below has an authoritarian triangular iron frame with an iron frame under the waist, a shoulder in the middle, and an iron socket in the upper part. The performer on the iron socket is a dexterous little girl of a few years old.



If you take a tour to Pingyao to watch the Shehuo, I believe that you will be shock by the wonderful performance and your spirits will get caught up in the lively atmosphere.


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