In this travelblog an impression of the Sister Meal festival and other Miao festivals we visited during the last 7 days. We have had a great time, lots of fun and we learned a lot about the Miao people.
The Sister Meal festival is for the Miaos the most important festival every year. Why???????????? Here is the information. Thanks to Tony Wang. The Sister Meal Festival.
The festival represents a nation's culture. In China, each of 56 ethnic communities boasts their own festivals which record and carry forward traditions, cultures and ethnic folklore.
The Sister Festival is one of the Miao people's most active festivals. It is held on the 15th day of the third lunar month, and the Miao celebrate it with numerous traditional activities and customs.
Sister Festival, held in Shidong, Taijiang County, Guizhou Province, is the Miao people's busiest time of the year, and it is an opportunity for Miao youth living along the middle reaches of the Qingjiang River to choose their dates. During the festival, Miao people eat "Sister Rice," dress up, dance, watch bullfights, compete in dragonraces and sing. A Beautiful Legend.
No one knows when
this ancient festival originated, but the 500 years of history in Shidong implies that the festival dates back to the remote past.
There was once a family with seven daughters. The girls were very beautiful when they grew up, and they wanted to marry good men. Their parents promised to help make their wishes come true. At their parents' urging, the seven girls went to the mountain to gather leaves, flowers and herbs.
They then cooked pots of colorful rice. The family invited young men from the village and neighboring communities to eat the rice, sing folk songs during the daytime and dance away the night. The non-stop singing and dancing allowed the girls to test and observe the men. After three days and nights of singing and dancing, the girls chose from about 100 men their dream husbands. They presented the men colored rice and told them to choose a time to return for the wedding ceremonies. By cooking colorful rice and inviting men from miles around for food, singing and dancing, the sisters became the first of the Miao people to marry for love. That helped the group's culture to evolve. Sister Rice
Rice originally had seven colors - one for each sister. Nowadays, there are more colors of the rice, symbolizing there are more than seven beautiful Miao girls. These days, the guests receive, after the singing, rice from the Miao girls. The men quickly learn if the women like them. A woman places a hot pepper in the man's rice if she does not wish to befriend him. She places a hook made from bamboo in the rice if she likes him.
In honor of the seven sisters, and to promote healthy reproduction, the Sister Festival has been passed down through the generations.
Every March or April, when flowers bloom and creatures mate, Shidong's residents cook colorful glutinous rice and prepare for the centuries-old celebration Drum Dance.
Today, besides dating lovers, Sister Festival also provides a good opportunity for local Miao people to show their charms and communicate with one another. The most popular event during the festival is playing drum dance which is a collective dance with drum beats. Women wear magnificent apparels and gather together to play the dance. The most formally dressed are unmarried young girls and newly wed brides. They wear sophisticated and
splendid silver apparels which weigh 10 to 15 kilograms. The silver apparel is the top-level festive apparel for Miao women. They wear them only at weddings or when they go back to their own parents' homes. Festival Costumes.
Mothers take pride in their daughters, who look beautiful in their traditional costumes. Women, in fact, begin preparing the traditional, embroidered holiday clothes soon after their daughters are born.
Thanks to Tony Wang who published this information on the internet on 16 September 2006
Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for more China adventures.
From Kunming with love.
Monkey and Bear.
Lieve vrienden en vriendinnen,
Deze travelblog gaat uitsluitend over het Sister Meal Festival en een aantal andere festivals die wij de afgelopen 6 dagen hebben bezocht.
Tijdens deze festivals hebben wij enorm veel plezier gehad, genoten van het kleurrijke spektakel en heel veel geleerd over de cultuur van de Miao bevolking. Voor de Miaos zijn de festivals die in deze tijd worden gehouden de belangrijkste festivals van het jaar.
Het door ons hier boven geplaatste artikel van Tony Wang geeft een aardig inzicht in de belangrijkheid van dit festival.
spreken voor zich. Zijn goed gelukt ondanks de vele rijstwijn (in ieder dorp anders = eigen produktie) die wij in de dorpen aangeboden hebben gekregen.
Reis met ons mee langs deze festivals en stay tuned voor onze nieuwe avonturen in China.
From Kunming with love.
Monkey and Bear.
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