Flowers Festival of Nu Ethnic Minority in Gongshan County, Nujiang

Chinese Name:怒族鲜花节/仙女节/乃仍节
English Name: Flowers Festival of Nu Ethnic Minority in Gongshan County, Nujiang

At fifteenth, March each year in Chinese calendar is the grandest traditional Flowers Festival of Nu Ethnic Minority in Gongshan County(贡山独龙族怒族自治县),Nujiang.

In the legend of Nu ethnic people, there have been many sayings about the origin of Flowers Festival, connected to a fairy maiden who is loved by Nu’s people, so the Flowers Festival(鲜花节) is called Fairy Maiden Festival(仙女节) as well.

The maiden is a beautiful Nu’s girl whom is clever, diligent and kind-hearted, her name is Aa Rong(阿茸). Long long ago, because of the weather was so bad, the places where Nu’s people living broke out drought, such disaster brought about dried, useless farmland, bare mountains and plains, Nu’s people were living with way too much pain. The girl Aa Rong was bravely coming out, she cut the cliffs, not be feared with dangers and difficulties, then a big rock-hole was drilled on Gongshan mountain, the spring water was coming from rock-hole and went down to Nu’s village, then the people could drink water, the land was moist with water, grass was green again, trees were brought back to life, crops in field were growing as well.

Barren mountain along Nu-river sides had became fat soil with green dresses upon ground, the girl’s name Aa Rong was popular in the two sides of Nu-river, people regard her as a fairy maiden and worship her. Aa Rong’s pretty looking caused the village chief had a bad desire to grab her with marriage, so Aa Rong had to hide in rock-hole on mountain. Chief didn’t give up the idea and kept chasing until found out the rock-hole, chief wanted to marry with Aa Rong, but the girl never agreed. At the day fifteenth, March, chief ordered to burn the rock-hole, Aa Rong died in fire. Afterwards, there were flowers growing all the way down on the rock-hole mountain for Aa Rong’s death, that’s why people named this day as Flowers Festival, also Aa Rong is a fairy maiden in everybody’s heart, so that it has another name Fairy Maiden Day as well.

In ther early morning on Flowers Festival, Nu’s each family get up very early to Jimudeng Village 吉(母登寨) of Pengda Town(捧打乡) and get ready for festival activities. Everyone is dressed up seriously, the girls especially in their ethnic gorgeous dressing, then they are coming out from each house with sacrificial offerings, kinds of food for picnic and bunches of fresh flowers in their hands.

Since a part of Nu’s people have the faith of Tibetan Buddhism, there are many Scriptural Banners, Tangka (唐卡sacrificial offerings) hanging around the altar where in front of fairy maiden rock-hole, many kinds of offerings on a altat, besides there are two old men in red and yellow religious clothing,they are blowing sunoa, beating drums, reciting scripture. Another side of the altar is a 3 metre high incense table, many pine branches, flowers, different colored banners on the table, an old corn on a top of a bamboo pole, each kind of offering symbolizes good wishes such as pine branch for happiness, forever green and young, old corn for bumper harvest with every year, and flowers is for their special memory of Fairy Maiden Aa Rong.

After praying activities , worshippers take flowers in hands walking around the altar and table meanwhile leave flowers in bunches of bamboo on the table, then people come in rock-hole again for giving flowers to maiden and drinking fairy water.

The whole sacrificial ceremony is ended, after that people staying on mountain slope is crowded, they are sitting around with families or friends, put the foods on the ground where laid pine needle, eating, drinking while dancing, the festival atmosphere is grand as well as a primitive manner. In the evening, the young men and girls make bonfires, they keep singing, dancing all through the night beside bonfires.

Chinese Version