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Dashuhua craftsmanship in Yuxian county

A craftsman stages a dashuhua performance in Yuxian county, Zhangjiakou city, Hebei province. [Photo/China Daily]

Dashuhua, or traditional spraying iron craftsmanship, is a local art form in Yuxian county of North China’s Hebei province.

Using a wooden ladle soaked in water for three days, folk artists perform this stunt by throwing arcs of burning molten metal (at a temperature of about 1600 C) through the air that bursts into glowing sparks onto a cold and hard wall, delighting audiences.

By experimenting with metals, the performers can create a multi-colored array of "flowers", improving on the original red.

Craftsmen heat molten iron in preparation for a dashuhua performance. [Photo/China Daily]

Two craftsmen stage a dashuhua performance in Yuxian county, Zhangjiakou city, Hebei province. [Photo/China Daily]

Two craftsmen stage a dashuhua performance in Yuxian county, Zhangjiakou city, Hebei province. [Photo/China Daily]

The iron performers are protected from all that molten metal by nothing more than a hat and a sheepskin coat.

Legend has it that in ancient times, blacksmiths used to throw hot melted iron against the cold walls during Lantern Festival. When the metal struck the walls, it exploded into a shower of sparks to scare demons away.

The tradition has been preserved for more than 500 years, and it was listed as an intangible cultural heritage of Hebei province.

It has now become a popular performance for tourists. You can enjoy this amazing stunt at Shuhua Theater in Nuanquan town, Yuxian county, the cradle of this traditional craftsmanship, where it is performed three times a day.

The dashuhua performance at Shuhua Theater in Yuxian county, Zhangjiakou city, Hebei province. [Photo/Xinhua]

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