YangAna Festival of Yiche Ethnic People in Honghe County, Honghe Prefecture

Chinese Name: 红河县奕车人仰阿娜
English Name:YangAna Festival or The Girls Street Festival of Yiche Ethnic People
Location: 红河县大羊街乡富宁村孟子红都山

When waxberry is ripe, it means the early summer is coming. With the basic completion of spring ploughing, all grain seedling is rippling in the terrace and show people a green scene. The cuckoo is still singing on the willow near the field, as if to remind people not to delay the farming. At this time, the young Yiche(奕车) people living in the Honghe(红河) area of southern Yunnan(云南) will celebrate the annual festival called “YangAna” which is inherited by their predecessors. YangAna is also called The Girls Street Festival for the main people is Yiche girls.

The source of The Girls Street Festival(姑娘街)

It is said that the early Yiche ancestors organized some activities that can produce normally and make people excited for regulating body and relieving fatigue because of long-term simple and boring farming work. This model impairs people’s enthusiasm for work so that delayed production and affect the harvest. YangAna(仰阿娜) is one of the activities. In Hani Language(哈尼语) it means that people sing and play in their spare time.

The Land of Yiche (奕车之乡)

There are 20000 Yiche people in Honghe including Yangjie(羊街), Langdi(浪堤) and Chegu(车古) Towns. The population of Yangjie accounts for more than half so that Yangjie is known as the hometown of Yiche. Yangjie is 65km away from Honghe. Looking from the outside with car is moving slowly on the rugged mountain road, there are many terraces, like ten thousand silver ladders and extending from the foot of the mountain to the top. They not only meet the needs of Hani people’s survival, but also become the most beautiful scenery in southern Yunnan. Countless photography enthusiasts come to southern Yunnan from home and abroad every year, aiming at this spectacular fairy with their lenses. However, our focuses are the ethnic customs of Yiche people and the unique costumes of Yiche girls for our trip.

YangAna is usually held on the first monkey day after Huangfan Festival(黄饭节) of Yiche people at the pass of Mengzhehongdu mountain,. This mountain is the holy mountain that Yiche people admire. It is said that on the day of YangAna Festival, Yiche people can forget the hardships of labor, and get relaxed after climbing to the top of mountain.

Modern YangAna Festival

As time goes by, many young people in Yiche no longer wear their own ancient and peculiar costumes and they dress in fashion on the day of YangAna Festival. Women wear jeans, high-heeled shoes and colorful shirts with automatic umbrellas in their hands. Men wear suits and leather shoes with Sanxian in their hands, guitar on their shoulders, sunglasses on their noses, and they chase each other for fun. Now YangAna Festival has gradually evolved into a love event for young men and women of Yiche, in addition to the annual worship of mountain gods by the elders of Yiche, so some people call it “The Girls Street Festival”(姑娘街).
Translated by Nian Xinwei/念欣伟
Chinese Version: http://honghe.yunnan.cn/html/2018-05/21/content_5215551.htm