April is a lovely month in China to enjoy the pleasant spring days: the earth is gradually heating up, and flowers of all sorts are blooming in a riot of color. April is also one of the best time to experience wonderful Chinese ethnic minority cultures, as various festivals of different ethnic groups just being held in this month. Head to the rarely-visited minority mountain areas of southwestern China’s Guizhou province in April for those interesting yet authentic festivals & fairs, and we promise you’ll be dazzled.
The Lunar March 3rd Festival of Dong People
China is composed of Han people and 55 ethnic minorities. And the country’s diversified ethnic culture can best be seen in Yunnan province and then Guizhou province. Join the Dong people in Baojing Town, Zhenyuan County to celebrate the Lunar March 3rd Festival (also named “Firecrackers Festival”), falling on April 2nd, 2014.
The festival usually lasts for five days, with a variety of fun activities, including Dong people’s preparations for ploughing, grabbling firecrackers competition, and a large-scale folk song and dance party (Bamboo dance, umbrella dance and others) among young boys and girls. Zhuang people mainly inhabiting in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region also celebrate the Lunar March 3rd Festival.
Of the 49 ethnic groups in Guizhou province, Miao has the largest population. Miao people’s Sisters Meal Festival celebrated on the March 15th in Chinese lunar calendar (April 14th, 2014) is one of the most important festivals for the group, especially the Miao girls. Head for Taijiang County in southwest China’s Guizhou to celebrate this festival with local people.
Traditionally it is a Valentine’s Day that allows a dating occasion for young Miao people. Miao girls wear the beautiful traditional dress and a set of silver accessories, and prepare “the Sisters Meal” with fresh fish, meat, wine, flower-shaped rice dumplings and colorful glutinous rice on their own. During the 3-day celebrating time, single men and women will sing folk antiphonally and exchange gifts. There are also other activities, such as canoeing contest, dragon dance, horse racing, bullfighting, lusheng performances, and so much more.
Tiaohuapo Festival of Miao People
Tiaohuapo Festival is one of the most important and oldest festivals for Miao people in Anshun, central west of Guizhou Province. The festival timing varies in different locations. It usually lasts for three days, when people dress in colorful traditional costumes, planting trees, playing music with Lusheng and dancing. The girls are dressed beautifully with hand-made embroidery clothes and artistic silver accessories. Therefore Tiaohuapo Festival is also a showcase of the most exquisite Miao costumes.
In addition to the bustling festival, Anshun also boasts peculiar natural sceneries of Karst peaks, caves and canyons, and famou Huangguoshu Waterfall.