Discovering Guizhou for Ethnic Minority Festivals in April

April is a lovely month in China to enjoy the pleasant spring days: the earth is gradually heating up, and flowers of all sorts are blooming in a riot of color. April is also one of the best time to experience wonderful Chinese ethnic minority cultures, as various festivals of different ethnic groups are just being held in this month. Head to the rarely-visited minority mountain areas of southwestern China’s Guizhou province in April for those interesting yet authentic festivals & fairs, and we promise you’ll be dazzled.

Know More Ethnic Festivals in Guangzhou 

Dong woman

The Lunar March 3rd Festival of Dong People 

China is composed of Han people and 55 ethnic minorities. And the country’s diversified ethnic culture can best be seen in Yunnan province and then Guizhou province. Join the Dong people in Baojing Town, Zhenyuan County to celebrate the Lunar March 3rd Festival (also named "Firecrackers Festival"), falling on April 2nd, 2014. 

The festival usually lasts for five days, with a variety of fun activities, including Dong people's preparations for ploughing, grabbling firecrackers competition, and a large-scale folk song and dance party (Bamboo dance, umbrella dance and others) among young boys and girls. Zhuang people mainly inhabiting in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region also celebrate the Lunar March 3rd Festival.

The Lunar March 3rd Festival of Dong People

Sisters Meal Festival of Miao People 

Of the 49 ethnic groups in Guizhou province, Miao has the largest population. Miao people’s Sisters Meal Festival celebrated on the March 15th in Chinese lunar calendar (April 14th, 2014) is one of the most important festivals for the group, especially the Miao girls. Head for Taijiang County in Guizhou to celebrate this festival with local people. 

Traditionally it is a Valentine's Day that allows a dating occasion for young Miao people. Miao girls wear the beautiful traditional dress and a set of silver accessories, and prepare “the Sisters Meal” with fresh fish, meat, wine, flower-shaped rice dumplings and colorful glutinous rice on their own. During the 3-day celebrating time, single men and women will sing folk songs antiphonally and exchange gifts. There are also other activities, such as canoeing contest, dragon dance, horse racing, bullfighting, lusheng performances, and so much more.

Miao Girl  Colorful Glutinous Rice for Miao Sisters Meal Festival

Tiaohuapo Festival of Miao People

Tiaohuapo Festival is one of the most important and oldest festivals for Miao people in Anshun, central west of Guizhou Province. The festival timing varies in different locations. It usually lasts for three days, when people dress in colorful traditional costumes, planting trees, playing music with Lusheng and dancing. The girls are dressed beautifully with hand-made embroidery clothes and artistic silver accessories. Therefore Tiaohuapo Festival is also a showcase of the most exquisite Miao costumes. 

In addition to the bustling festival, Anshun also boasts peculiar natural sceneries of Karst peaks, caves and canyons, and famou Huangguoshu Waterfall

Changjiao Miao Girls

Miao boy Playing Lusheng

Folk Song Festival of Dong and Miao People

Location: Tianzhu Town, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture

Date of celebration: the 9th day of the 4th lunar month (usually falls on early and middle May)

It is a busy farming season, but people will work hard to finish their job ahead of schedule and prepare for the festival by collecting, re-arranging the songs or writing up new songs. At that day, young men and women all dress up and gather together to sing love songs, folk songs and antiphonal songs. Outgrowing its past to honor a Dong singer who was loyal to love, the festival today is for young people to make friends and search for a mate.

Traditional Miao festivals

Lusheng (a reed-pipe wind instrument) Festival

Location: Kaili, Zhenyuan Old Town, Majiang Town and leishan Town in Southeast Guizhou

Dates of celebration: people in different place celebrate it in different time, vary from February (during the Spring Festival) to March and April 

Celebrated on the lucky dates (different dates in different year), Lusheng Festival has its first ceremony to worship ancestors. Girls dress in the traditional costumes and wear eye-opening yet beautiful silver ornaments. While boys bring with the Lusheng, play this wind pipe and dance together. As one of the most important tradition festivals of the local Miao ethnic group, the festival attracts myriads of people from the nearby villages. More activities include drum dance, horse-racing, bullfight, local opera performance, etc.

Tour to Guizhou

Guizhou minority culture tours

Wresting Festival of Dong people

Location: Liping Town, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture

Date of celebration: the 15th day of the third lunar month (April 21, 2016)

The festival involves martial arts as well as the traditional entertainment and will attract people of all ages to take part in. Travelers can also join in the fun activities such as singing contest, Lusheng (a reed-pipe wind instrument) contest, bird-fighting, bullfighting, and visit the quaint, bustling local bazaar.

Leave a Comment