Yanbian Festivals and Events

Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture is inhabited by Korean, Manchu, Han, Hui, and other ethnic groups. Despite those traditional ones, there are many other festivals and activities in Yanbian that will show you the unique culture of Yanbian people.

Festivals in Yanbian

Of course, Yanbian people will celebrate traditional Chinese festivals such as New Year's Day, Spring Festival(The first day of the first lunar month), Lantern Festival(The fifteenth day of the first lunar month), Tomb Sweeping Day(15 days after the Spring equinox; April 5, 2019), Dragon Boat Festival(The fifth day of the fifth lunar month; June 7, 2019) and Mid-Autumn Day(The fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month; September 13, 2019), they also celebrate some festivals of their own, like Seniors’ Day, Liutou Festival(流头节), Kaishan Festival (开山节), Banjin Festial (颁金节), and so on.

Seniors’ Day (老人节)

Seniors’ Day came out of an initiative put forward by an elderly association in Dongshengyong Township. At that time, people thought that autumn is a season of maturity, and the day of August 15th is the Anti-Japanese War Victory Memorial Day, so they decided to set the day as Seniors’ Day. In this day, people will sing and dance to give their best wishes to the elderly people.

Liutou Festival (流头节)

Liutou Festival, or Liutou Day, is a traditional Korean festival hold in lunar June 15th. In that day, people will dress up and bring foods to the riverside. Korean women will use the river to wash their hair because they believe the running water can take evils away. Then all people will worship their ancestors for good harvest and health.

Kaishan Festival (开山节)

This festival is hold after every Mid-Autumn Festival in the fall or in the mid-September of the lunar calendar by Manchu people for the harvest for collecting herbs. In the past days, in the Kaishan Festival, facing the Changbai Mountain, people would pray and thank the god of mountain for his generosity.

Banjin Festial (颁金节)

Every October 10th in the lunar calendar is Banjin Festial of Manchu people. “Banjin” in Manchu means "birth" and "vitality". Banjin Festival is the birthday of Manchu people because in 1635, the emperor of Qing Dynasty, Hong Taiji issued an edict to change the name of his people from Jurchen to Manchu. Thus, Manchu people will sing, dance and hold many activities to celebrate this day.

Activities in Yanbian 

Most of Yanbian People are good at singing and dancing. In every important day they will perform Farmer's Dance, Sorcery Dance, Changgo dance or other dances and sing songs. Besides, they will also hold many other activities such as wrestling, springboard, and race walking with an urn on head.

Korean Wrestling (摔跤)

Korean Wrestling is a traditional national sport of Korean people in Yanbian, where is called “the Land of Wrestling”. In every Dragon Boat Festival or Mid- Autumn Festival, many wrestlers come together and fight with each other for victory. Each contestant wears a belt around his waist and the thigh. The opponents should lock on to each other's belt, and one wins by bringing any part of the opponent's body above the knee to the ground.

Springboard (跳板)

Playing springboard is a traditional Korean activity popular among Korean habitations in Jilin. It is often held in Lantern Festival, Dragon Boat Festival and Mid- Autumn Festival. This activity is beloved by women, and there is a saying goes, “if you don’t play springboard when you are a young girl, it will be hard for you to give birth to a baby”. 

Race Walking with an Urn on Head (顶瓮竞走)

Race Walking with an Urn on Head is a Chinese folk game which is popular in Yanbian. It is often held after laboring, and its participants are all women. Before the competition starts, competitors put an urn of 5 kilos on head, and stand on the starting line. After the judge gives order, they walk at once. And the participant who keeps her urn and first reach the finish line wins the game. 

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