DaShuHua (打树花) — China’s Blacksmiths Put On Dazzling Display for New Year

DaShuHua (打树花) — China's Blacksmiths Put On Dazzling Display for New Year

Clothed in sheepskin and armed with wooden ladles, blacksmiths in the old Chinese steel town of Nuanquan ring in the Lunar New Year, not with fireworks, but by flinging arcs of molten iron against the cold brick of the city wall:

The dangerous tradition of Dashuhua has been practiced by blacksmiths as part of the Lantern festival for over 500 years. It involves throwing scraps of molten iron towards the bricks of the city gate, resulting in a fiery visual spectacle.

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During Chinese New Year and also during the lantern Festival, many people light-off fireworks as a traditional effort to scare off demons. During this festive season, only the wealthy could ever afford to buy fire-crackers while farmers and blacksmiths could not warrant such an expense. So by taking inspiration from the sparks of their iron work, a group of blacksmiths 300-years ago decided to splash molten metal against the walls of their city and create beautiful flower patterns from the cooling iron.

As years passed, locals began calling it DaShuHua Firework. And ever since, the people of the city have continued to donate their scrap metal to perform this illuminating ritual. Only iron was used at the very beginning stage, but gradually aluminium and copper was also added to produce white and green coloured flowers. …I love this!

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~ by Fionnlagh on March 5, 2015.

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