Climbing knife-mountain and walking into fire-sea
Daogan festival is the most grand and holy traditional festival of the Lisu people. This festival is to express the Lisus intrepid spirit in resistance against invaders and their hope for favorable climate and good harvest.
People set up flaming fire in the center of the knife pole square on the evening of the 7th of the 2nd month of the Chinese lunar calendar. The brave men who are going to climb on the knife pole and walk on the fire make fete in front of the incense table which has been set in the middle of the square. After the rite, six Lisu men in red jump out of the crowd and drink several bowls of wine. In the earsplitting sound of the drums, they walk into the fire with bare feet intrepidly. They imitate the gestures of different animals in the fire and make the sparkles splashing around. Some of them even wipe the face with burning charcoal. None of their feet can be hurt until the fire goes out.
Later, these brave young men are going to climb on the knife-mountain which is about 20 meters high. The mountain is two long poles bound with 36 or 72 sharp knives. After the climber reaches the top, he suddenly stands upside down which makes the audience amazed. Then, he throws away five colored flags in five directions and climb down in applause. The most amazing thing is that their feet are still not injured.
Daogan festival is the most heart-quaking and courage-representing festival in China.