Children were sacrificed 700 years ago -- but now they are glorified

Children in Singapore don't really have much to look forward to on Children's Day, which is celebrated on the first Friday of October.

However, it is a different story for children from Tufang, a village in China located in Fujian province. The streets of the village spring to life in an annual celebration held in February to commemorate the end of barbaric child sacrifices carried out centuries ago. 

According to AFP via AsiaOne, the celebration was held last Saturday (Feb 11).

It is believed that 700 years ago, children from the area were sacrificed in a bid to ward off demons. However, the practice was abolished after a pair of legendary figures, Tu Dalang and Lai Balang, learnt magic that they used to slay the demons.

They are now revered as god-like entities capable of influencing the weather and bestowing blessings.

To pay tribute to the victims, the villagers dress their children up in elaborate head-gear, traditional attire, and make-up, making them resemble colorful mannequins. 

As the children are paraded through the village, the villagers set up makeshift tables lined with incense and candles to welcome them. They also shower them with shredded red paper wrappings and set off firecrackers.