Spending the Miao New Year happily
There are many festivals for the Miaos. Almost all types of festivals are included, such as religion, farm work, commemoration, trade, recreational and sports activities, celebration, social intercourse, etc. According to the scope, there are general festivals of the whole Miao people, and also some festivals. Big festivals include the Miao New Year, New Product Eating festival, the Eighth of April, Dragon Boat festival, Stepping Flower Hill, Eating Bull's Internal Organs, Reed-pipe Meeting, Singing Gathering in the Pure Brightness, Striking Drums festival, Horse Fighting festival, Slope-climbing festival, Eating "Sisters' Rice", etc.
The Miao New Year is Miaos' traditional festival, but the time of celebration is different in different places. The "Guizhou Record" written by Guo Zizhang in the Ming Dynasty says:" The beginning of a new year is in the last three months in winter, and people celebrate in different months." The beginning of a year means spending the New Year. The three months in winter refers to the tenth, eleventh and twelfth months of the lunar year. Since modern times, Miao people in most regions has changed to spend new year in the first month of the lunar year, and only people in the Southeastern Guizhou and part of Guangxi follow the old tradition and spend the new year in the Bull (one of the twelve symbolic animals and is called "Chou" in Chinese) day, the Hare (called "Mao" in Chinese) day, the Dragon (called "Chen" in Chinese) day during the tenth, eleventh and twelfth months of the lunar year.
The Miao New Year is a festival to celebrate good harvest. Though the time is different, it is also the grandest festival for Miao people in different regions. When the day is coming, every family does cleaning, butchering chicken and pigs, makes polished glutinous rice cakes, makes rice wine and buys special purchases for the new year. At the New Year's Eve, every family worship gods and offer sacrifices to ancestors, praying for an abundant harvest of all food crops and safety of people and domestic animals. Then members of the family gather together happily and share a rich dinner. From the first day of the New Year, people begin to visit relatives and friends, wishing them a happy new year. Youngsters wear rich dress and take part in all kinds of entertaining activities as reed-pipe dancing, stepping to wooden drums, bullfight, horse race, roaming around, antiphonal singing, etc. Everywhere in the whole Miao village is filled with sound of firecrackers and reed-pipes. The whole region is immersed in atmosphere of joy and happiness.
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Horse fight in Miao mountains >>