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Festivals in Zhangjiajie

Festivals in Zhangjiajie

The Torch Festival of Bai Minority

  • Time: the night on June 25 in lunar calendar
  • Place: the village of Bai Minority
  • Major activity: In the downtown area in Zhangjiajie, Bai Minority people host the Torch Festival in hopes of preventing pests from ruining crops. In the evening, every family would light a torch and put the torches together. Then, they step over fire and pray to the god of fire for driving out evil.

Celebrating the New Year for Three Times of Tujia Minority

  • Time: Tujia Minority people celebrate New Years three times. First, they celebrate ‘Gan Nian’ on the 29rd or 28rd of the twelfth month in the lunar calendar. Then, the June Spring Festival is celebrated on lunar June 25. Finally, the October Spring Festival is celebrated on lunar October 1st.
  • Place: In the Tujia Minority village
  • Major Activities: On Gan Nian night, people make a bonfire in the playground of mountain fastness and gather around fire to play, dance and sing songs. The June Spring Festival comes from an important migration in history. During this day, the Tujia Minority people slaughter cattle as a sacrifice. The October year was created to celebrate harvest in their new homeland after migration. That day people wish each other a happy New Year and celebrate the festival together.

Tujia June 6th

  • Time: June 6th in lunar calendar
  • Place: Settlements of Tujia Minority towns and villages
  • Major Activities: The Tujia Minority people call this day Shai Long Pao (drying the dragon robe). Women tend to dry their clothing during this time. Some even remove their roofs and expose the houses to the sun. Tujia Minority people believe that articles exposed on June 6th will not become moldy year round and be as good as new.
  • Legend: It is said that June 6th was the day that the chieftain of Mao Gang, Hunan Province named Qin’gou was confronted by danger. As the legend is told, while on the execution ground, Qin had big eyes. When the executioner carried out the death sentence, all of a sudden, nine golden dragons flew out of Qin’s body. It was quite dark after that. Zhu Yuanzhang was so terrified that he fell from the emperor’s chair. Then, he climbed up and wished toward heaven. He also ordered to dry Qin and make a statue of him to sit on the emperor’s chair seven days a year. Bai Minority people wrested the blooded war robe of Qin then washed and dried it. Also, they built a temple to sacrifice and called, ‘drying the dragon robe’.

Recommended places include, Luoshui country in Yongding District, Zhangjiajie as well as other celebration activities held on June 6th where you can see the Maogusi Dance.

Additionally, the following are the special festivals in Zhangjiajie:

  • February 2 nd: Birthday of the gnome.
  • February 25th: It is the time when young girls to pierce their ears and men and women get married.
  • March 3rd: People eat sagebrush Baba that day, called Sagebrush Festival.
  • In the Tomb-sweeping Day, to know the good omens and bad omens of all family members in a year, people put willow leaves in their door, which is supposed to clean the door. Also, they put streamers made by colorful papers when sweeping the tombs. By doing this, they recalled their dead relatives.
  • April 8th is Buddha’s Day. Farmers all rest on this day. It was the old International Labor Day in the country.
  • During the Dragon Boat Festival, the temples print and send a real photo for you to hang on the hall. Children apply realgar on their foreheads. People eat rice dumplings, drink calamus wine and tie Chinese mugwort on the top of the door.
  • On the Double Seventh Festival, women knit silk under the moon and put fruits in the road to sacrifice to Cowboy and Weaver.
  • On the Mid-autumn Festival, the Tujia Minority people do not like appreciating the moon. Eating moon cakes are a common custom for the Tujia Minority and Han Nationality. The Tujia Minority celebrates this festival in a different way. They steal wax gourds and deliver them to sterile couples as children in the moonlight.
  • November 19th is the birthday of the sun god where each family wakes up early and burns incense, which is considered respectful.