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Folk Customs

Tea-Picking Lantern Dance of Longyan


The Tea-Picking Lantern Dance of Longyan is also known as the "tea-picking and butterfly catching" dance. It is mainly popular in Longyan city, Xinluo district, and the surrounding colony of Heluo people. It has a history of over 150 years.

The dance takes "tea picking" and "butterfly catching" as its theme, mingling the elements with light-hearted folk songs. The soft music and graceful dancing, as well as the cheerful and warm atmosphere, vividly represent the unique labor involved in traditional tea picking.

The Tea-Picking Lantern Dance is a rarity in Fujian folk dances. UNESCO has included the dance’s music into its music library.

In the late 1990s, a spacecraft built and launched jointly by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and ESA (NASA), adopted music from the dance to represent earthlings to aliens.