Folk performance at the annual She Huo Festival in Shanxi Province in February 2012.
Today, the festival has become an annual celebration supported by the government. Everyone can participate if they want to. The most eye-catching part of the festival is, of course, the parade. In the parade, there are all kinds of folk performances. You can watch gong and drum beating, dragon and lion dances, stilt-walking and land boat dances.
Of all the counties in Jinzhong, Zuoquan preserves the most traditional elements.
In Zuoquan, all people, young and old, love singing and dancing. Singing and dancing is an indispensable part of their life. That's why the county is known as a county of Chinese folk art. Every village has performing groups called art troupes or art teams. Children must learn folk songs and dances in kindergarten and elementary school. During the She Huo Festival, temporary stages are set up in the streets. You can hear and watch the singing and dancing crowd everywhere.
Zuoquan's She Huo Festival is divided into three types: Wen, Wu, and Chou. Wen refers to a local opera combining music, dance and drama. Wu refers to Chinese martial arts. And Chou is a clown show.
There is an interesting custom during the festival. People set up a cone-shaped pile of firewood or coal outside the door of every household. The art troupe performs beside the fire, and the host family will treat them to walnuts, peanuts or cigarettes.