Festivals

Southwest China refers to Yunnan,Guizhou ,Sichuan provinces and Tibet Autonomous Region.

In this region live a variety of ethnic groups,amongst whom are the Yi,Wa,Bai,Tibetan,Naxi,Dai,Shui,Bouyi,Miao and Yao. Of all these ethnic groups,the Yi and Wa are indigenous,while the other groups are migrants.

Due to cultural isolation caused by complicated landforms in Southwest China,these age-old ethnic cultures form numerous living museums characterized by their cultural diversity.

Most festivals of Chinese ethnic groups originate from prayer and entertainment ceremonies for the blessings of gods. As in ancient times,Chinese ethnic peoples believed that everything in the natural world was possessed by gods and was closely related to man's fortune or misfortune. The gods could offer blessings when pleased,or disasters when displeased.

Because of such beliefs,these people stand in awe of the gods and try every possible way to amuse them in colourful and unique ways. It is believed that the gods have various human emotions and desires like enjoying delicious food,fine-sounding music and beautiful dancing. At festivals,slap-up banquets as sacrifices and beautiful dances are offered to entertain the gods. Beautiful costumes and valuable adornments are always worn so as not to offend them. Here the festival goers can forget the hardships and worries of daily life.

Festivals are celebrated all year round in Southwest China,with ceremonies and sacrifices to the gods of the heaven,earth,sun,moon,water and fire. Buddha and the ancestors are an integral part of daily life.

Despite great social and economic changes,the ethnic peoples in Southwest China largely still believe in ancestor-related religions and Buddhism. Praying to and amusing their gods at festivals has remained central to them.

The largest and most influential festivals are the Jingpo people's Munaozongge Festival,the Bai people's Raosanlin Festival,the Wa people's New Year Festival,the Dai people's Water-splashing Festival,the Tibetan people's Masked Dance Festival and the Miao people's Sisters' Rice Festival.

Each of the many festivals celebrated by the ethnic groups in Southwest China has its own distinctive characters and cultural significance to nourish the soul of its people,making the region culturally and traditionally extraordinary in China.