Gatangpa Festival of Aini Ethnic People in XishuangBanna
Chinese Name: 哈尼族嘎汤帕节
English Name: Gatangpa Festival of Aini Ethnic People in XishuangBanna
Gatangpa Festival, the grandest festival of the Aini (a branch of Hani) ethnic members, was held on 1 January 2013 in Pazhen Village of Menghai County where the 60th anniversary of Galanghe Hani Autonomous Township synchronised.What highlighted the event was the unique ethnic customs, religious beliefs, dietary culture and traditional fineries of such nationalities as the Han, Hani, Dai, and Lahu etc, giving full play to the diverse local ethnic cultures.
In Hani ethnic language “Gatangpa” means the renewal of everything on the earth, and the beginning of a new year. Gatangpa Festival is a traditional festival in Hani minority. It is told that in ancient times Gatangpa Festival could last for 15 days, taking ancestor worship and entertaining as the main content. The festival duration was changed to four days by the 14th Hani ancestor Zyuq Tanq Panq. As prescribed, the Festival starts from the first ox day and ends at the dragon day in each October.
Menghai is a vital tea planting area in Yunnan as well as the origin of the world famous Pu’er tea. Tea is a necessity to the Hanis in Menghai for festivals, celebrations and yet social life; the grand tea sacrificial ceremony, which manifests the harmony maintained between the nature and Hanis, is one of the dominating activities during the festival.
As the grandest and traditional festival of Hani People, Gatangpa is spent annually as the “New Year Festival” of Hani group. It plays a vital role in the ethnic cultures and numerous ethnic festival celebrations of Xishuangbanna Prefecture, and is an indispensable platform to display traditional ethnic cultures and propel the unity between different nationalities of Xishuangbanna.