The DaShuHua Tree Flower Festival is a thrilling annual spectacle and tradition for farmers and blacksmiths in NuanQuan, a small town less than four-hour-drive west of Beijing. Initially, a few hundred years ago, they wanted to participate in the annual Chinese New Year celebrations but weren't in a position to arrange traditional firework shows. Inspired by the sparks from working with iron, a group of courageous blacksmiths decided to splash molten metal above the city walls, which created fabulous flower shapes from the cooling iron.
Since then, each Lunar New Year, the incredible tradition of splashing liquid metal heated to 1,000 degrees at the city wall has been an important part of this area's identity. During all these years, the Da Shuhua executives have learned to mix iron with copper and aluminum to create a variety of colors in the sparks.
Performers of such dangerous art keep rejecting modern protective clothing as it contradicts tradition and continue holding their ritual in sheepskin jackets, straw hats, and goggles.
Molten iron fireworks are traditionally fired on the last 15th day of Lunar New Year celebration. By the way, NuanQuan has only four Da Shuhua performers, all of them older than 40. So its future is out on a limb.