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Miao Ethnic Minority Sister's Meal Festival


The Sister's Meal Festival is one of the most important Miao's festivals, which usually held on the 15th and the 16th day of the third lunar month each year. For celebrating the festival, Miao people eat sister's meal, stepping on copper drums, and blowing lusheng. And many young villagers come from many remote mountain areas for searching a mate in Shidong. The clothes they wear with unique signature and their hairstyles with a never-ending fashion show.


The origination of this festival, is as colorful as this festival itself. Here goes my favorite version: Once upon a time, there was a big Miao village hidden in Taijiang County, southeast Guizhou. Each year after the harvest season, young men would delve into the forest to hunt for several months, leaving their families behind. In this village, over 70 Miao beauties were at the prime of their age. Occupying themselves with laboring, singing, dancing and doing embroidery, these girls lived an affluent life, yet, they were unhappy. Reading their minds, a wise senior-aged man came up with a brilliant solution: he suggested girls divide the glutinous rice into three portions: one for brewing wine, one for daily consumption and the rest for preparing rice balls. When spring comes, hunters come back. Dressed up like fairies, Miao girls entertained young men with rice wine, rice balls as well as other dishes. They also held a party which lasted for several days and were filled with singing and dancing. In this way, these lovesick ladies find their soul mates. Perceiving the advantage of this love match activity, Miao people preserve it in the form of a settled festival, which remains a romantic and effective way to find true love.


This three day festival is celebrated on the 15th day of each third lunar month in downtown Taijiang County, Laodun Township and Shidong Town. The one celebrated in Shidong Town which is 35km away from Taijiang, is the grandest and most distinctive one. You can see the most beautiful Miao girls, the most eye-dazzling silver ornaments and the most delicate embroidery there.


To celebrate this annual love-seek carnival, Miao young men will dress to impress and ladies dress to kill. A multitude of villagers from far-flung corners will swarm into Shidong Town, just like numerous colorful streams converge into a sea. The mountains, valleys, waterfronts and meadows of this town will be packed with excited faces, and a myriad of inviting festivities including Lusheng singing and dancing, boating, drum-beating, rooster fighting and bullfighting, will be hosted.


Miao people will indulge in these pleasures day and night for 3 days. For outsiders, this local festival dedicated to love, promises endless fun. You can join the swirling dancing crowd to embark on an adventurous love-pursuing journey, or to mingle with the spellbound onlookers to observe the richly-clad and alluring Miao beauties and their eager suitors. Since food comes in great variety and is in endless supply, you can eat and drink to your heart's content. With abundant photography opportunities, you will find yourself caught in a dilemma from time to time as to which scene to capture first.


To prepare Sisters' Meal, Miao girls will gather fresh flowers, fruits and strawberries to extract red, green, yellow, black and white juices before dying the glutinous rice and molding into tiny balls. During this festival, each Miao family will prepare enough rice balls for their daughters, relatives and unexpected guests. Married women often avail this opportunity to visit their parents, bringing baskets of mouth-watering food.

 

For young Miao suitors, if they want to have a bite of Sister's Meal, excellent performance during the Courtship Singing Contest is a prerequisite. At the end of the festival, girls will award those winners with Sisters' Meal, which convey their true feelings to their suitors, and for these men, it is a moment full of suspension.

 

For travelers, the biggest highlight they cannot afford to ignore during Sisters' Meal Festival in Shidong Town, is local girls' silver attires and silver ornaments, the former is renowned for its peerless luxuriousness and the second its unparalleled variety in China.

 

 

 

 time£º2014-11-19 20:17:36

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