According to Miao custom, the tenth lunar month is the beginning of a new year. Therefore the Miao New Year festival, the most important festival for Miao people, is usually celebrated around this time. However, the exact date varies each year and is only disclosed one or two months in advance. This year 2008, Miao New Year Festival is during November 10th to 12th.
For the colourful Miao minority in rural southeast China Guizhou province, the Miao New Year Festival is the most important celebration of the year. It's the time for the Miao people to celebrate their harvest. The celebrations will be held in every village by the locals. Every villager turns out to join the excitement, girls dress up in their most spectacular traditional costumes and silver headdresses, and dance with traditional instruments such as lushen music. During the festival they will take part in different activities such as bull fighting, horse races, cock fights...This tour invites you to join the celebration, to share the joy of the Miao peoples' rich harvest and experiense the colourful minority culture.
The celebration of the Miao New Year in Leishan County, Guizhou Province is the grandest among Miao festivities. During the event tourists can enjoy watching enchanting Miao customs come alive through various kinds of ethnic activities. These include the festival parade that features Miao girls and women in traditional Miao dress, the traditional music of the Lusheng (a kind of musical instrument made of bamboo), bullfights, horseracing, and of course, lots of singing and dancing.
When the day is coming, in the Miao area, every family does cleaning, butchering chicken and pigs, makes polished glutinous rice cakes, makes rice wine and buys special purchases for the new year. At the New Year's Eve, every family worship gods and offer sacrifices to ancestors, praying for an abundant harvest of all food crops and safety of people and domestic animals. Then members of the family gather together happily and share a rich dinner. From the first day of the New Year, people begin to visit relatives and friends, wishing them a happy new year. Youngsters wear rich dress and take part in all kinds of entertaining activities as reed-pipe dancing, stepping to wooden drums, bullfight, horse race, roaming around, antiphonal singing, etc. Everywhere in the whole Miao village is filled with sound of firecrackers and reed-pipes. The whole region is immersed in atmosphere of joy and happiness.
With the influence of the Han Chinese, Miao began to substitute this holiday with the Chinese New Year. However, traditions and customs remained. At this holiday, dancing, singing, horseracing, bulling will be see. In addtion, it is a time for young guys and girls to meet.
Traditionally, after Miao year, Miao will keep their Lusheng at a safe place. They will cover the "eye holes" of the Lusheng with cotton balls, indicating they are not going to play this instrument. Some tribes/villages even seal up drum or flutes. This is a preparation for ready for spring, for a new year of hardworking ahead!
The tour package to the Miao New Year in Leishan Nov 10th, 2009