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Miao people welcome spring with lusheng dance

By Ge Jieru ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-02-04

Miao people welcome spring with lusheng dance

Hundred-bird dress is decorated in feathers and embroideries. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Miao people welcome spring with lusheng dance

Miao people perform a lusheng dance to welcome the Start of Spring on Feb 2. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Miao people welcome spring with lusheng dance

The dance is performed to music from the lusheng, a reed-pipe wind instrument. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Guizhou is land blessed with diverse traditions, cultures and ethnicities which stretch back thousands of years. To celebrate the Start of Spring, the first solar phase of the Lunar New Year, members of Congjiang county’s Miao ethnic group performed the lusheng dance.

The dance is performed in a special embroidered and feathered dress made by the local Miao people, and covered in depictions of hundreds of birds and dragons. Often performed in a circle and accompanied by the reed-piped sounds of lusheng music, the dance bids farewell to winter and welcomes the spring and its oncoming fertile greenery.

As with many customs which surround Spring Festival and the beginning of a new lunar calendar, the lusheng dance is also performed to worship ancestors long past and embody hopes of good luck and prosperity in the New Year.

Beginning on Feb 3 and ending on Feb 17 in this year, Start of Spring is the first of 24 Chinese solar terms. Unlike a modern calendar, the solar terms divide the year up into segments according to the position of the sun in the sky. In ancient China, this enabled farmers to make predictions and take action based on the position of the sun in order to optimize their crops and achieve the best harvest.

Edited by Owen Fishwick

Ethnic Culture
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