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Hainan Double Third Festival of Li Minority

Double Third Festival(三月三) is the Valentine’s Day for the Li people(黎族), who mainly live in southernmost China’s Hainan province. Li people are famous for tapestry, brocade, music instruments, diversified cuisine, witchcraft dance, furniture & crafts made out of a whole single truck of the precious Nanmu which worths its weight in gold, as well as organic wine made of wild fruits, pumpkin, banana, glutinous rice, corn and Chinese sweet potato.
double third festival of li people

Li people live within boat-shaped thatched cottages, and are good at weaving, cultivating rice, hunting, fishing as well as singing and dancing. Both their attires and cuisine reflect the fertility of their tropical surroundings. The rice paddies can yield three kinds of rice per year, their forests can provide the most diversified fruits, mushrooms and preys all year around across China and their rivers are crammed with various fish and crustacean.
double third festival of li people

Just like the Dai people, they cook rice within bamboo tubes, and invented many other fancy dishes with fancy ingredients and cooking methods. Li people’s rice is very delicious and nutritional, which is usually mixed with assorted grains such as corn, fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes and chicken meat.
double third festival

Do not vomit when hear that they eat various of rats, both the wild and the domesticated. Compared to African in the jungle eat spiders, Li people are not that savage, right?

Double Third Festival

Double Third Festival, also known as San Yue San, or March the Third Festival, is the grandest celebration of the Li people. It occurs in the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month. In 2014, it takes place in April 2.

Young Yi girls put on bright dresses and equip themselves from head to toe with various accessories. They wear bracelets on the wrists, ankles and necks, while men put on hats.
double third festival of li people

Double Third Festival involves the Bamboo Pole Dancing, Double Knife Dancing as well as Throw the Embroidered Balls. Among them, the Bamboo Pole Dance is the highlight. Eight young men hold eight bamboo poles on a flat ground, they open and close the bamboo poles, and girls need to hop constantly between those moving poles. Those whose ankles touch the bamboo poles, will be eliminated from the game. The last survivor will be the winner.
double third festival

When night falls, they congregate around a bonfire on a mountain slope, performing the collective dance. When tired, boys and girls sit opposite of each other, singing out their heart-felt affection. Their folklore songs are simple, euphonious and are performed spontaneously. The lyrics are sincere, genuine and touching. Those girls good at Bamboo Pole Dancing and men good at music play or sports, are easier to win the opposite sex’s admiration.
yi ethnic group food

When a Yi girl and boy fall in love with each other, the girl will tie a self-knit waistband to her lover’s waist, while her lover will insert a pin made of deer bone into the girl’s hair. In this way, they express mutual affection and promise to see each other again, this time, in the coming year.

Many Li people find their lifelong partners in this festival.
 double third festival
Author: Sophia         Posted on Dec 4, 2013


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