a’an, a town in Guigang county, Guangxi Province, is known for its centuries-old civilian fire-control culture. There are seven civilian fire brigades in Da’an, which were established 180 years ago. This year, the town held the 180th Da’an Firefighting Festival on September 20. The festival, first held in 1836, is included on the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Guangxi Province.
A catastrophic fire swept through the town in 1836. After the fire, local residents from all sectors of society decided to establish volunteer firefighting teams. Locals purchased equipment, including water tanks, water guns, beaters and buckets. In 1915, five civilian fire brigades were formed, using the town’s five ponds as the main water sources. Each year, on the 20th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, the town would hold a mass fire drill, in which all local residents would be mobilized.
Thanks to the efforts of the fire brigades, fire safety education has been promoted throughout the town, and so in recent decades Da’an has been safe from the flames.