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Guizhou National Festivals


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Guizhou National Festival

Guizhou, a province of beautiful scenery and pleasant climate, is known the China and the world for its centuries’ ancient civilization and distinctive traditions of Miao, Dong, Buyi and Shui nationalities, which has been handed down for two thousand years.

The Guizhou culture treasure house consists of different historical origins from different nationalities. Each nationality has its own distinguishing various festivals with bright and colorful forms to express the achievement of its social, cultural and economic life, also with some legendary stories, social aspirations and national psychology.

Though each of the nationality has different language, music, dance, games, custom, cooking, handicraft art, construction, sports and even myths and fables, we can see that all the national festivals has its natural character and is a crystallization of intelligence and creation during the long stream of each nationality, and all of the festival activities are the way to show the cultural social characteristics of each nationality which is mixed with daily life and most secret dreams.

All the numerous singing and dancing customs, which are the colorful stages filling of different customs, languages, brilliant skills, are the nice way to enrich your life, purify your sentiments and enlighten your wisdom. Meanwhile, these valuable festivals have great value for the researches in ethnology and folklore.

Among the numerous festivals in Guizhou province, “Sister Festival” of Miao nationality is undoubtedly the greatest one with rich poetic flavor when the mountain flowers begin to blossom in spring, it is also called “The Oldest Oriental Valentine Day”. This festival is usually hosted from April to May.

Sister Festival

A legend goes like that:
It was said that long long time ago, there was two maternal aunts, one has a son named Jindan, and the other has a daughter named Ajiao. These two kids lived under the same roof and were childhood sweet friends. When they were grown up, they fall in love with each other. However, Ajiao’s mother wanted her to marry her uncle’s son and forbad her to met Jindan. But the difficulties didn’t frustrate these two young people; they started to fight back their parents and met with each other in the wild secretly, every time, Ajiao would bring some rice to her lover, secretly carried with the knitting basket. Day by day, year by year, they finally married when their parents frustrated. Later, long years later, it was said that 800 girls in Shidong District, Taijiang County couldn’t find their husbands, and 800 boys in SanbingDatang District couldn’t find their wives. It suddenly occurred to the elders the story of the Ajiao, Jiandan and the “Sister Rice”, and they started to teach the girls to invite the boys to have this “Sister Rice”, then with the help of “Sister Rice”, they married and lived in happy life. Later, “Sister Rice” becomes a tradition to select the suitor by the Miao girls.

Days before the “Sister Festival”

A few days before the festival, girls will flock to the mountains to collect the wild flowers and berries to colorfully dye the glutinous rice to make “Sister Rice”, which is wrapped with other things into black handkerchiefs. The handkerchiefs with different things inside, which are ready to give their suitors in the “Sister Festival”, have different meanings. If the wrap has a pair of red chopsticks inside, it means she has accepted her suitor’s hand in marriage. If the wrap has a shallot/garlic shoot and a red chili, it means she refused her suitor. Besides, the rice with leaves or pine-needles means the suitor should give pieces of silks, satins or colorful silk threads back for continuing development.

When it comes

As night falls, all the peaceful places, such as the shadows of trees, roofs, river bands and hillsides etc., will be filled with young girls and men with moving love-songs float above until the fog disappears in the morning. If the young man wants to know the girl’s decisions, unwrapping the handkerchief which is given by the girl will give him the answer. On the next day, there is will be a grand meeting dancing accompanied with beating drum, playing Lusheng, bullfights to celebrate the lovers find each other.