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Valentine's Days celebrated in Yunnan throughout the year

Updated:2019-08-22 18:23:55   Yunnan Daily

Editor’s note: The July 7 of lunar calendar is the traditional Chinese Qixi Festival, or Chinese Valentine's Day. This year, the festival fell on August 7, and it was celebrated in various ways across the country. Located in southwest China, Yunnan is a province where 25 ethnic minority groups live. Each of them has its own Valentine's Day. So, besides celebrating the Qixi Festival, people of Yunnan observe other Valentines’ Days—— almost in every month across the year. Today, we bring you Valentines Days of ten ethnic minority groups to present you a more colorful Yunnan.

Touch Festival of Yi people

The Touch Festival is the most solemn festival of Yi people. It usually begins on 24th or 25th of the sixth month in lunar calendar and lasts for three days.

On the second day, the elders of each village of Yi people will follow the traditions to select both a young man who is industrious, brave and handsome and a young woman who is kind, smart and beautiful to set examples for the youths in the village.

When night falls during the festival, Yi people always dance and sing around bonfires. When the fire is about to burn out, young men and women will sing love songs together and find their boyfriends or girlfriends. Therefore, the Touch Festival is also called the “Oriental Valentine’s Day”.

Zhuanshan Festival of Pumi people

On the fifteenth day of the seventh month in lunar calendar each year, Pumi people celebrate the Zhuanshan (circle the mountain) Festival to worship the god of mountains.

When the day comes, the Pumi men take sweet snacks while the ladies take wine and fruits to the holy mountains where various activities will be held to let the youths to know more friends of the opposite sex. If young man hit it off with a lady, they’ll have a date in forests, beside lakes or in the valleys. 

Shiyuenian Festival of Hani people

In the tenth month of lunar calendar, Hani people celebrate their Shiyuenian Festival throughout the whole month. During the festival, they dance and sing to the accompaniment of musical instrument of gongs, drums, three-string fiddle and bamboo flute.

When the night falls, the elders will leave, giving chances to the youths to know more about each other. Hani people have their own unique customs for the engagement——there will be no betrothal gifts and fancy feasts and they will treat guests with tea.

Kaquewa Festival of Dulong people

In the language of Dulong people, “Kaquewa” stands for “New Year” and the Kaquewa Festival is celebrated on the 29th day of the twelfth month in lunar calendar.

During the festival, youths of Dulong people will give presents to the one he or she has a crush on. For a young man, the gift is usually an elaborately-woven blanket by him, and a lady often prepares a hoe or a handmade back basket.

Huashan Festival of Miao people

For Miao people in Yunnan, the Huashan Festival usually falls on the first day of first lunar month. During the festival, the young men and women, dressed in their festive customs, will sing songs in antiphonal ways to show their talents and express love. If they have a crush on each other, the man will give a piece of sugarcane to the woman who also will give him a gift in return.

They then will try to get along with each other and pick a day for the wedding ceremony if everything goes well.

Nengxian Festival of Jingpo People

The Nengxian Festival, which is usually celebrated on the tenth day of the second lunar month, is a festival participated mainly by youths of Jingpo people. When the day comes, the youths will put on their festive costumes and wear different kinds of adornments.

They sing folk songs together and take part in activities like archery, slingshot playing and knife dance, to know more about the person he or she has a crush on.

Aluwoluo Festival of Achang people

Every March 20, the Achang people celebrate the Aluwoluo Festival——the most solemn festival of them. Generally, the festival includes four parts—holy tree choosing, altar building, sacrificial rite and dancing.

The celebration usually lasts several days or half a month. During the festival, young men and women would sing folk songs and sprinkle water for blessings, which are chances for them to find boyfriend or girlfriend.

Huajie Festival of Zhuang people

Huajie Festival, which usually falls on the third day of the third month in lunar calendar, is a festival with the most joyous atmosphere for Zhuang people.

On that day, young ladies will give embroider artworks to the men they fall in love with. And young men will buy headscarves, silver bracelets or necklaces as gifts for their loved ones. For those who are single, they will participate in singings and dances together to try to find the one they love.

Xianhua Festival of Nu people

The Nu people celebrate the Xinhua Festival on the 15th day in the third month of lunar calendar. When the day comes, they will hold sacrificial rite and various entertainment activities. Among them, the night-long singing and dance is exclusive to the youths. If one young man and woman have a crush on each other, the former will send a self-made mouth organ as a token of love to the latter who will give him a self-embroidered artwork in return.

Caihua Festival of De’ang people

The seventh day after the Qingming Festival(Tomb-Sweeping Festival), De’ang people usually go to the mountains to pick flowers. This is where the Caihua (flower-picking) Festival comes from.

During the Caihua Festival, De’ang people will wear their festive costumes, play elephant-foot drums and pick flowers in the mountains. For the youths, they will give the flowers they pick to the ones they have a crush on and sing love songs to them.

Source: Yunnan Daily; photos by Yunnan Daily reporters; trans-editing by Li Hengqiang

Keywords:   Valentine's Days Yunnan