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Yunnan Top Festivals(2/2)

The grandest Ethnic Group’s Singing & Dancing Festival: Munaocong Singing&Dancing Festival of Jingpo People (景颇族木脑纵歌)

Jingpo People, one of China’s 56 ethnic groups, mainly inhabit the area of The Déhóng Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture in west Yunnan. It shares over 500km long’s borderline with Burma and boasts tropical landscape, massive temple clusters and exotic customs. Each January 15 to 17(lunar calendar) or March 4 to 6 (solar calendar), the Munaocong Singing&Dancing Festival will take place.
Munaocong Singing&Dancing Festival of Jingpo People
These pillars serve religion purpose
A spacious field will be chosen as the celebrating site firstly, then the Jingpo people will erect several wooden pillars in the center. These pillars will be decorated with the paintings of their most important Gods: “Mudai God” (their Family God), “God of Sun” and “God of Earth”. Besides, dancing illustrations will be put on these pillars also. Though imbued with a strong religion and ritual flavor, the whole dance is a well balance of solemn and joyfulness. Seen from above, the overwhelming mass composed of a hybrid of ethnic groups including Dai People, Achang people, Deang People, Bulang People and even Han people. This river of human flows constantly, presenting a spectacle of color customs and elegant movements. People sing and dance passionately for three days and nights, wearing the most intoxicating expression on face.

The most famous Bull Fighting Festival: Bull Fighting Festival of Miao People(苗族斗牛会)

As we know, Spain is famous for Bull Fighting. But after a Spanish folklore expert appreciated various Bull Fighting Events in China, he exclaimed that the most thrilling bull fighting occurs in China, China’s most thrilling bull fighting occurs in its west area, and west area’s most exciting bull fighting occurs among the Miao People.
Bull is a sign of courage and strength in Miao people’s culture. According to myth, Chuiyou, a rebel leader who has a bull’s head and human body, is their ancestor. For this reason, bull enjoys unparallel status there, just like in India. During the past years, Miao people have developed a complete and effective system on selecting, training and encouraging bull talents. For example, bulls with wide nose, big ass, broad forehead, tight waist, burly hoofs, tight mouth and tight skin are promising winners after proper training. These top bulls mainly concentrate in Guizhou province, southwest China. After months’ preparation, people will take their bulls to this grand event. To vitalize them, Miao people will feed their bulls with rice alcohol which will make them bold and aggressive. The Bull Fighting can be carried on after various styles. During one kind of bull fighting, the bulls’ owners can involve in. During the free fighting style, bulls will rival each other to death. Top fighting bulls will be awarded with prizes and bring fame and fortune to their owners. This event will last from 3 to 5 days.

The most unique etiquette: Jinuo people’s Come-of-Age Ceremony(基诺族的成人礼)

Come-of-age marks a significant turning point in life while the come-of-age ceremony symbolizes the end of childhood and the beginning of adult life.
Drum Dance
Bamboo Dance
This ceremony adopts the most diversified forms around the world. For example, those in Africa can be bloodily terrifying. But in southwest China, it is more gentle and civilized. When a Jinuo girl turns 15 years old and a Jinuo boy reaches 16 years old, they will follow the come-of-age ceremony by uttering dress code and hairstyles before joining a community where they learn etiquette. For Jinuo girls, they will change their aprons into double-layered ones and wear braids, while boys will wrap their heads with headgears and wear colorful shoulder bags.

The most influential ethnic festival: Water Splashing Festival of Dai People傣族泼水节

Dai people call them “the People of Water” and celebrate their new year with Water-Splashing Festival. Each middle of April (solar calendar) will see this festival kick off. With a history of over 700 years, this festival has its footprint in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. Various activities include bath the Buddha statues, peacock dance, elephant dance, throw and catch, fireworks display and more importantly water splash will be held. As the most influential festival with the largest number of participants in Yunnan, it will last from three to seven days. To feel the essence of Xishangbanna’s culture, it is a must-join festival.

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