Guizhou is home to one of China’s largest ethnic minority populations, and throughout the year these vibrant communities celebrate their traditions with vivid and inspiring festivals. We’ve brought together a calendar of Guizhou festivals so you can get in on the action.
Every year visitors from China and around the world make the journey to Guizhou in order to witness the many traditional festivals of the Miao ethnic group. These festivals are a perfect way to experience and celebrate one of the many faces of Chinese culture and we have pulled together a few of next year’s highlights that you should be marking on your calendar now:
Stunning Beadwork on a Traditional Miao Garment
Miao Long Table Banquet
As soon as harvest is completed in September or October – you can contact one of our trip designers for more details.
Despite the rapid transformation of China in recent years, the Miao ethnic minority have stayed true to their traditional dress, lifestyle and, of course, cuisine. The Miao Long Table banquet is a welcome antidote to the well earned hunger of a long day of sightseeing, as you sample dishes like Sour Fish Soup and Oil Tea made with ginger and salt, and indulge in enthusiastic toasts with local rice wine. The Long Table banquet is an important tradition and connection to the past celebrating a local goddess who was once able to feed the whole village. Each dish comes from the unique methods brought down from by Miao people for centuries to honor special occasions.
Miao New Year
November 5, 2017
Source: Matěj Baťha
The Miao people have their own way of welcoming in the New Year, and their own calendar for deciding when it is. The Miao New Year typically rolls around in the 9th, 10th or 11th month of the Chinese lunar calendar and to mark the occasion, the Miao people assiduously prepare, gathering provisions, arranging ancestor worship, visiting neighboring villages and playing the Lusheng, a traditional music instrument made from bamboo.
February 2017, Several Dates
Source: Impressive Pipes
The lusheng is the cornerstone of all Miao New Year celebrations. This bamboo instrument can measure up to three meters long, and makes a sound you’re unlikely to hear from any other source. During the Lusheng Festival, the biggest event of the Miao New Year, girls dress up in their finest traditional attire while boys lug the instruments to Lusheng Stadium to perform a dazzling display of dance and music.
Sister’s Meal Festival
The oldest ‘Valentine’s Day’ in Asia, the Sister’s Meal Festival began its life as a humble courtship ritual where young Miao men and young Miao women could meet and embark on a life together. With their colorful traditional dresses and enthusiastic displays of local dance and music, the Sister’s Meal Festival soon began to draw a larger crowd. In 2017, you can expect to be among thousands of other visitors who have gathered to watch this ancient ritual play out once more.
Dragon Boat Festival
May 30, 2017
The Dragon Boat Festival occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month in the Chinese lunar calendar, placing it near the summer solstice. Across China citizens mark the occasion by drinking wine and eating triangular rice snacks known as Zongzi. They’re delicious, and if you’re in China at the right time you should definitely try them. In Guizhou, the Dragon Canoe Festival lets you witness the Miao ethnic people take to the waters in traditional boats, and race each other while dressed in purple and gold.
Want to pull up a seat at the Long Table Festival or try your hand at playing Lusheng? Journey with WildChina throughout Guizhou on our Hidden Guizhou Private Tour. If you’d like to travel with a small-group of like-minded adventurers, we also do a yearly small group tour to Guizhou: Hidden Guizhou Small Group Tour.