A heritage of unity and color

The Guzang Festival, held every 13 years, connects Miao people to their roots — and draws in appreciative visitors, Chen Nan reports.

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-04 09:33
Share - WeChat
Miao embroider Jiang Laoben [Photo by Wei Junwen/For China Daily]

Jiang Laoben remembers fondly celebrating traditional ethnic Miao festivals as a girl in her home village. Of all the festivals, she enjoyed the Guzang Festival the most.

Born and raised in Baibei, Rongjiang county, Southwest China's Guizhou province, which is home to more than 2,000 Miao people, she is 60 years old now, but her early impressions of the festival are still vivid.

"What I loved most was watching people wearing traditional Miao clothes — especially the gorgeous bainiaoyi, or hundred-bird dress, which features many hand-embroidered birds — and the raising of long, narrow flags with batik patterns, which were so beautiful," recalls Jiang.

Unlike other festivals in China, which are usually held annually, the Guzang Festival, established by the Miao people to worship their ancestors, takes place every 13 years.

It's a multiday celebration, in which the Miao don traditional costumes and perform folk music and dance, set off firecrackers, host bullfighting competitions and sacrifice pigs and cattle.

The festival has become a major draw for tourists, who are eager for a glimpse of Miao life, and these traditional aspects of Miao culture that have survived and kept pace with China's contemporary metamorphosis. It was also among the first items to be listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2006.

The festival was held between Dec 23 and 30. Thousands of Miao people from across the region gathered at Baibei village, one of the oldest villages in Guizhou, to witness the grand opening ceremonies.

Jiang was there to participate, making two bainiaoyi for young women in the village to wear at the celebrations. She started on them over a year ago; each is worth about 60,000 yuan ($8,890).

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Next   >>|

Related Stories

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349