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Sisters' Meal Festival

Date: From the 15th day to the 17th day of the third lunar month.
Place: Guizhou and Yunnan Provinces
Activities:Once a local affair which provided opportunities for Miao men and women to meet and begin their courtship, this festival attracts thousands of natives who have gathered from many miles around, and has now become a major tourist attraction. It provides a dazzling display of local dress, and a lot of entertainment including clamor of drums, firecrackers, song and Dance, bullfighting, horse racing, singing and dancing competitions and even beauty contests!

Sisters' Meal Festival  Posted by sylviandavidDecember 10, 2008Every year on March 15th of Lunar calendar, Miao minority people, which live in Shidong, Taijiang country in Southeast Guizhou province, south of China ceberate the Sisters' Meal Festival annually. It will be held from April 10-12, 2009. 

The Sisters' Rice Festival is sometimes called Sisters' Meal Festival or Sisters'Rice Festival. It is a celebration of love and of spring (for the event takes place only once a year in April). This is a local version of Valentine's Day, unlike any other you'll ever see. The Festival brings villagers from many remote areas together. The young Miao girls make up and dressed up beautifully with headdress, hairpins, multiple neck-rings, chains loins, chest locks, and heaps of accessories, all made of silver, to celebrate the Sisters' Meal Festival and search for their potential lifelong partners.

In anticipation of the Sisters' Rice Festival, the grandmothers, mothers and other female relatives polish and shine the collection of silver neck rings, bracelets, anklets, earrings, hair pins and combs, rings and pendants, phoenix crowns and headpieces that the young courting-age girls will wear. The Miao believe that silver, representing light, dispels evil spirits. Silver is also a symbol of wealth and beauty, and some young women wear several kilograms of it at one time.

The festival always begins with special family meals. Sharing traditional foods such as rice that has been colored with the dyes of different leaves, berries and flowers, then cooked in bamboo tubes, and homemade rice wine, is similarly practised among the many Miao tribes. Some of the dyed rice is molded into balls that hold hidden treasures. These rice balls are presented to the young men who come to visit, and each treasure has a different meaning. Pine needles mean "You should give me embroidery needles." and corn silk is a suggestion of fine yarn. A thorn tells the lucky fellow "You are the one!"Chopsticks or red flower pistils say, "Let's marry quickly - the sooner the better." And a single chopstick, some garlic or chili means, "Find someone else!"

When darkness falls, the festival beat increases as the dragon dances begin. Candles are lit inside the 25-meter-long hollow paper dragons. Battles begin as the fiery dragons weave in and out of the hooting crowds chasing each other. Drums and fireworks complete the noisy atmosphere. Into the evening, the elders continue to make the rounds, greeting their friends, swapping stories and songs, sharing tobacco and wine As the moon rises high in the night sky, young lovers wander off. The mountain paths are busy with the sounds of tinkling footsteps and clear melodious voices singing gentle love songs to the tunes of Lusheng pipes. Long into the night, the partying continues----   Bamboo flutes and wooden drums echo sounds throughout the valley as the dawn breaks, beginning the next day's festivities. As crowds slowly gather, the lovely dancing girls strut like peacocks while the boys look on admiringly. 

For sure, we also take you at the start of our journey to see Guizhou's beautiful countryside scenes of striking limestone karst hills, tumbling waterfalls and steep rice terraces. But the Sisters' Meal Festival as the highlight of this trip is never in doubt, and is guaranteed to leave a lasting.


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