Qianxinan Festivals and Events

Qianxinan is a multi-ethnic autonomous prefecture in the southwest of Guizhou Province. There are 35 ethnic groups within Qianxinan prefecture such as Bouyei, Miao, Han, Yao, Gelao, Hui and the like. So Qianxinan prefecture has a strong ethnic minority customs. If possible, take part in the local festivals and activities in person to feel the local culture more directly. 

Festivals in Qianxinan 

Chabaige Festival(查白歌节)

The Chabaige festival is a commemorative festival for the Buyi ethnic group in Xingyi City of Qianxinan prefecture, Guizhou province. The festival is to commemorate Cha Lang(查郎) and Bai Mei(白妹), who got rid of an evil for the people and died for love in the ancient time. It is celebrated at Chabai Village of Dingxiao Town in Xingyi City from the 21st day to the 23rd day of the sixth lunar month. Every year in these days, people from the surrounding counties, the neighboring Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and Yunnan province come to participate in this song festival, magnificent and bustling. The main activities of the festival include song contest, visiting friends and relatives, Ganbiao(赶表) and mountain worship, etc. Generally, it lasts three days and the first day is the best. The Chabaige festival is also an important opportunity for Buyi men and women to socialize.

Ba Yue Ba Miao Customs Festival(八月八苗族风情节)

Ba Yue Ba Miao Customs Festival has now been expanded into a common festival activity with the Miao as the main ethnic group. It includes the sacrificial ceremony of Miao village festival; Exquisite traditional craft, embroidery, weave, silver ornaments, batik and other performances; Folk song and dance performances, traditional sports activities, rich ethnic festival food culture and bonfire parties and so on. According to the autonomous regulations of Qianxinan Buyi and Miao autonomous prefecture, the prefecture will have a one-day holiday on the eighth day of the eighth lunar month every year.

San Yue San(Double Third Day) of Buyi(布依族三月三)

Every year, the third day of the third lunar month is the traditional festival of Bouyei people in Zhenfeng County and Wangmo County of Qianxinan prefecture. In lunar march, at an important time, spring farming is about to begin, spring drought phenomenon is relatively serious, fire accidents occur frequently. In the traditional ideas, in order to make villagers achieve "good weather for the crops and good harvest for all crops", Buyi people who live by the Beipanjiang river in Zhenfeng county will hold corresponding sacrificial activities on the third day of the third lunar month. Nowadays, this festival has changed a lot. It has become a mass gathering of Bouyei people, with specialized singing and dancing performances and other festival entertainment activities.

Activities in Qianxinan

A-mei Qi Tuo(阿妹戚托)

"A-mei Qi Tuo" of Yi, which means "the dance that girls get married" in Chinese, originally spread at the Yi villages in Qinglong county, Beipanjiang river basin. It is a kind of traditional folk dance depending on local marriage customs of Yi minority. "A-mei Qi Tuo" originally only appeared in the local Yi people's weddings, and later it could be found in the Yi people's "torch festival", "Yi's New Year" and other festivals. A-mei Qi Tuo is a kind of dance that originates from life, with twelve basic movements, and mostly from farming activities and daily life, such as transplanting seedlings, tending ducks, feeding the dog and so on. And the central meaning of the dance is that the sisters express their deep blessings to the girl who is about to marry as the bride, and tell the bride with 12 dance steps representing different meanings that when she arrives at the mother-in-law's house, she should work hard and frugally, respect the old and love the young, and only in this way the life will be better and better. 

Buyi Eight Notes(布依八音坐唱)

Buyi Eight Notes is a form of folk art rap handed down from generation to generation by the Buyi people. It refers to the traditional rap and Quyi(folk art forms) that spread in Guanling county and Zhenning county in Anshun, and Zhenfeng county of Qianxinan prefecture. The performance team of Buyi eight notes varies 8-14 people, singing the opera's Sheng, Dan, Jing, Chou, no makeup. It got its name from the ensemble of 8 instruments including bovine leg bone, bamboo organ, straight flute, Yueqin, Sanxian, mans gong, gourd and piccolo. According to legend, the prototype of Buyi eight notes belongs to court music, mainly playing wind and percussion instruments. After the Yuan and Ming dynasties, due to the role of the aesthetic consciousness of the Buyi, Buyi eight notes gradually developed into the folk art forms of accompaniment performance mainly with silk and bamboo instruments.

Buyi Opera(布依戏)

Buyi opera, local traditional drama in Ceheng County of Guizhou province, is one of the national intangible cultural heritages. It is mainly distributed in Ceheng, Anlong, Xingyi and other counties and cities inhabited by Buyi people. It is influenced by Han, Zhuang and Miao operas, singing Buyi music in Buyi language, and developing on the basis of Buyi eight notes and Bench Opera. In the Buyi opera, there are Sheng, Dan, Chou, King and Senior General, etc., and the stage scheduling of each role is three steps or five steps a turn, lively in form and plain in style.

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