Ethnic festival celebrated in southwest China

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KUNMING, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of people converged in a local square Thursday in southwest China's Yunnan Province to celebrate an ethnic festival.

The "Hualianjie," or "face-painting festival," is a traditional festival of the Yi Ethnic Minority. It has almost 1,000 years of history.

The public in ethnic clothes gathered at the Jiaolian Square in Qiubei County, as they painted each other's face black. According to local folklore, if a person is painted completely black on the day, he or she will be lucky for the rest of their life.

In ancient times, the Yi people painted each other black with crop straw ashes to exorcise demons. Enditem

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