Yangshuo Fishing Festival

Culture in Yangshuo

Morgen Mo
1095 Words/5 Minutes, By Morgen Mo, Updated February 03, 2023

Local cultural events in Yangshuo include the Yao Family Song Hall, the Yangshuo People's Market, the Dancing Plaque Lantern, the Shigong Dance and other folklore events. If you happen to come across one, why not consider checking it out and immerse yourself in the local culture to experience something different?

Yao Family Sitting Song Hall

Yao Family Sitting Song HallYao Family Sitting Song Hall
  • Where: Longwei, Fuli Ancient Town
  • When: Around 16th October
  • What to visit: Yao ethnic people, singing and dancing

Originally a song festival held by the Yao people of Longwei in Yangshuo to commemorate their ancestors and celebrate a good harvest year, the songs were held in the Yao people's hall, hence the name. Later on, it gradually evolved into a song contest held for all wedding and new residence celebrations and became a major traditional cultural entertainment for the local Yao people. If people from outside the area attend, the atmosphere becomes more lively and the singing is no longer limited to Yao mountain songs.

The Yangshuo People's Market

Fuli MarketFuli Market
  • Where: Fuli Ancient Town, Yangshuo and Xingping Ancient Town
  • When: 2nd, 5th, 8th, 12th, 15th, 18th, 22nd, 25th and 28th of each month in Fuli; 3rd, 6th, 9th, 13th, 16th, 19th, 23rd, 26th and 29th of every month in Xingping and Yangshuo
  • What to visit: rice selling area, poultry selling area, fish selling area, haircut area, local food area, etc.

The people of Yangshuo call the markets where people trade and commerce "Naozi", and it is customary to call them "Naozi" when people go to them to buy and sell. These are usually held on the following days: 1st, 4th and 7th for Yangti and Baisha; 2nd, 5th and 8th for Putao, Gaotian and Fuli; 3rd, 6th and 9th for Jinbao, Yangshuo, Puyi and Xingping. The market starts at around 8am and disperses at around 4 pm.

Plaque Dance

  • Where: Yangshuo

The lantern dance is a long-established traditional local cultural event that takes place during major festivities. It consists of 21 lanterns, which are rectangular, transparent paper lanterns in the shape of dominoes held up by wooden poles. The four sides of the lanterns are lined with bright designs and each side has a word written on it, which can be combined at will to form some auspicious sentences during the performance. These sentences are updated with the times and are a good form of fun and education.

Shigong Dance

  • Where: Yangshuo

The Shigong dance is a performance form of the Nuo dance, which used to be an important part of the blessing ceremony to dispel disasters, and is now included in the folklore tourism program as a traditional national performing art.

The "Big Head Dog" Dance

In addition to the dragon and lion dances, Yangshuo also has a one-horned animal that is danced during the Spring Festival and other big events and festivities. The head is much larger than that of a lion and has a single horn on top of it. The dance is very powerful and sets the mood.

March 3

  • Where: Yangshuo
  • When: around 10th - 16 April
  • Things to do: plowing, rice planting and singing in the farmland by the Yulong River

"March 3" is not only a traditional Zhuang festival but also an important day for the Zhuang to pay homage to their ancestors and worship the ancestors of Pan Gu and Bulotuo. On March 3, young Zhuang men and women gather in the streets to celebrate the festival, set up song stalls, and hold song festivals. On March 3, the Zhuang usually steam five-colored glutinous rice, dance the bamboo flogging dance, eat a long-table feast, grab firecrackers, play flattening, beat copper drums, touch colored eggs, pass on love through embroidered balls, and sing about love.

May 8 Festival

  • Fuli Town

On this day, families in the marketplace tie up three-foot-six-inch-high vertical-colored lanterns and set them off in front of the town's Gong Gong and Granny temples, then worship the 100-odd Bodhisattvas in the two temples and carry them in procession down the street. In the past, it was believed that worshipping the Gong Gong and Po Po temples would lead to many children and good fortune for the country.

Sing Mountain Songs of the Zhuang People

Every year, in the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the sound of flutes and mountain songs can be heard everywhere in all Zhuang villages. Most of the songs are sung in villages and cottages, with young men and women playing in groups of three or five and forming piles.

Ox King Festival

Every year, on the eighth day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar, when the early rice has been planted, the farmers make it a point to console the cattle out of gratitude for their hard work. On this day, the plows and harrows are hung up in each household to ensure that the oxen are given a day's rest and that they are well looked after.

Fishing Fire Festival

Yangshuo Fishing FestivalYangshuo Fishing Fire Festival

Fishing by fire on the Li River is a traditional folk fishing method in Yangshuo. The fishermen paddle a bamboo row with steam lanterns (the most primitive is to light a torch) and use the fish's tendency to light up at night to paddle the row in the river and attract the fish to converge, then put down a fish net to surround it, then put down a cormorant, the fisherman stomps on the row and shouts and hits the water with the pulp, the cormorant weaves through the water like an arrow, picks up the fish and exposes it to the surface and swallows it by the neck (the neck is caught in a rope, the fish cannot swallow it). The cormorant is then picked up by a bamboo pole and spat out the fish into the fish basket.

Morgen Mo

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