30,000 perform in Yuci parade
She Huo Jie is high-energy feast for the eyes: drummers, cymbal players, dancers or actors come charging in, hundreds at a time, dressed in multicolored traditional clothing and often wearing bright face makeup. Certain groups, including a group of brides in traditional wedding chariots, or women in make-shift boats, represented symbols found in ancient life. Modern symbols, such as a float resembling the recently-constructed Tiangong-1 Spacelab, were present in the parade as well.
Of the fifteen spectacles that comprise the show, perhaps the most unique were the gun (platform) performers. First were children performers arranged on platforms carried by local men. Often two or three young children, between 8 to 10 years old, were balanced on one man's shoulders. According to tradition, the locals originally believed children to be deity-like figures brought to the community from heaven, which is why children are placed on a platform in the parade.
There were four kinds of platform marches featured in the Yuci District She Huo Jie festival: Tai Gun (Shoulder Platform), Bei Gun (Back Platform), Tie Gun (Iron Platform), and Jue Gun (spring platform). In each performance, children or young girls were raised up on various different kinds of platforms, whether attached to the carrier's shoulders, back, or more elaborate contraptions mounted on two or more carriers.