Hekou County Festivals and Events
Hekou County is the only Yao autonomous county in Yunnan Province. Hekou offers the typical festivals of Yao ethnic group. In addition to Yao, there are other minorities in Hekou, including Miao, Yi and Zhuang. Here below are some ethnic festivals and activities in Hekou.
Festivals in Hekou County
1. Panwang Festival(盘王节)
Panwang Festival is a great festival for Yao ethnic people to worship their ancestors, Pan Gu, pan Geng and Pan Hu. It has more than 1700 years history. Yao people in different areas celebrate the festival in different time, but usually in farm leisure time after autumn harvest and before Spring Festival. Festival usually lasts 3 days. At those days, Yao people wear their festival dress, they stay together, singing and dancing.
2. Huashan Festival(花山节)
In Hekou, Miao People in Laojiezi Village(老街子村) of Qiaotou Miao and Zhuang Township celebrate this festival. Generally, Huashan festival of Miao is held around May 1st every year. Flower pole is the significant symbol of the festival. On this day, Miao people wear traditional costume, perform Lusheng(芦笙表演) and choose the king of flower pole.
3. Niuwang(Ox King) Festival(牛王节)
Among Chinese ethnic minorities, many minorities has celebrated this traditional festival. The 8th day of the 4th lunar month is Niuwang Festival of Buyi people. The aims are to celebrate grain harvest and praise the selflessness of cattle. Main activity is bullfighting.
4. Double Third Day(三月三)
The 3rd day of 3rd lunar month is a traditional festival celebrated by many ethnic groups in China, in particular the Zhuang people. In Zhuang Legend, this day is the birthday of Zhuang ancestor, Buluotuo(布洛陀). The third day of the third lunar month is an important day for zhuang people to worship their ancestors, Pan Gu and Buluotuo.
5. The Torch Festival
It is the grandest festival of Yi people. Every year on the 24th day of the 6th lunar month, Yi villages are all to prepare a big feast and have a joyous gathering. At night, villagers light their torches and shout to march through the field. It means scaring away the devil and welcoming the harvest.
Activities in Hekou County
1. Dujie(度戒)— The Coming-of-age Ceremony of Yao Men
Dujie is an important institution of Yao Taoism Belief and a unique coming-of-age ceremony of Yao people. All Yao men between the ages of 13 and 20 must pass this ceremony. Dujie has its own strict ritual. After this ritual, it indicates that a man has come of age, and he gets the qualifications of participating in the village activities, love and marriage.
2. Marriage Propose—The Wedding Custom of Baixian Yao
In Hekou, after Yao's men and women are free to fall in love and live together for a period of time, when they want to get married, the bridegroom's family will be responsible for this propose ceremony. Accompanied by his family and relatives, they bring some food to the bride's house to propose a marriage. Therefore, it is also called engagement ceremony.
3. Dingge (Singing) Culture Festival(定歌文化节)
Dingge Festival is a large-scale cultural and recreational activity of Yao people. It is held in Yaoshan Township(瑶山乡) during Spring Festival. Festival activities are rich and colorful, besides Yao's traditional artist program, there are also traditional sport competition, bonfire party and seeking the king of singing.