Rumiqi Festival of Nu Ethnic Minority in Nujiang

Rumiqi Festival of Nu Ethnic Minority in Nujiang
Date: 6 March
Place: Nujiang Prefecture
Rumiqi in the Nu ethnic language means “all the villages act to exorcise”.

Chinese Name:怒族如密期/开春节
English Name: Rumiqi (Kaichun) Festival of Nu Ethnic Minority

Nu nationality is the oldest ancestor and developer on both sides of the Nu River. Like other nationalities, the Nu people have their own unique customs and cultural heritage. They are a pure, kind, hospitable, and musically and lyrically talented people. In the process of opening up the Nu River land, they have fought against nature with extraordinary perseverance and courage, using their intelligence, wisdom, and even their lives to gain possession of this land. According to the Nu people’s 64-generation oral tradition, the Nu people have been living and multiplying on this land for about 1,700 years. In this 1,700-year history of entrepreneurship, they have experienced generations of hardships and struggles against nature. The Nu people’s “Miqi” activity has evolved and developed over the long process of struggling with nature.

The Nu language means “Evil” and “Period” respectively, so when combined, it means “washing away evil spirits.” According to legend, its origin was that at the time, the Nu people suffered from a series of natural disasters and man-made misfortunes. People were unable to resist these disasters and misfortunes, so they turned to the gods for help. They used the “Miqi” to pray for disaster relief and to ask for the gods’ protection to bring forth timely rain, abundant crops, prosperity in livestock, harmony in families, and good fortune. This type of sacrifice activity is usually held in villages on March 6th before the spring plowing, so it is called “Rumi” (meaning village).

Why choose the date of March 6th? There is another beautiful and touching legend. It is said that on this day every year, a type of bird flies to the walnut tree in the village and sings a beautiful bird language song whose tone is similar to “Rumi”.

Today, most Nu villages no longer carry out the “Miqi” activity due to various reasons. Over time, the current “Miqi” activity has changed significantly in terms of its content and form, and it has evolved and developed into the “Spring Festival”.

This activity is a healthy and beneficial mass cultural activity that welcomes the arrival of spring plowing, celebrates a happy and fulfilling new life, praises hard work and prosperity, exchanges ideas, communicates emotions, and molds sentiment by carrying out ethnic cultural activities.