Festival reflects people’s live, culture and custom, and there are some special festivals in Guilin except national festivals, which are people’ celebration and wish.
On the twentieth day of the first lunar month, the Yao people in Wantian Yao township of Lingui district have Jinfeng festival. In the first beginning, there is a tale: once upon the twentieth day of the first lunar month, a gust of weird wind tears down houses and crops. When people are at a loss, an old man comes and tells that the disaster is caused by the wind god who is irritated by sound. Then sound is prohibited on this special day. Then it evolves into this festival. On that day, people would dress their ethnic clothes, and have entertaining activities, like lion dance, Cai diao performance, and Zhugan dance.
In March, Peach Festival is held in Gongcheng which plants lots of peach trees in Dalingshan park, and those flowers would blossom in this period, and looks like a flower sea of pink and light red. During this festival, Guilin people and tourists would go to Gongcheng to see those beautiful flowers, and local people in Gongcheng would have art shows to welcome travelers.
On the third day of the third lunar month, there would be a festival, Sanyuesan Festival, which is a provincial festival in Guangxi. It is originally a festival of ethnic minorities, like the Zhuang, Yao, and Miao, and it is celebrated in the whole Guilin, and every counties will have various art shows, like singing and dancing. Those shows may be different according to local custom. In this day, there is also another festival, Huapao Festival, special to the Dong people in Longsheng. The Dong people celebrate this festival in different time according to different places. In this festival, there are many celebration activities, the most important one is Huapao fight. Huapao fight is originated from religious rituals, and it becomes a public competition. Huapao is a metal ring wrapped by red cloth, which is put on tiepao, a kind of firecracker. When the firecracker is set off, the metal ring would soar to the sky and then fall down. After its fall-down, people would run to take the ring, anyone who successfully take the Huapao, will have rewards. Huapao fight has several rounds and only male can participate it. The winning of Huapao symbolize good luck and happiness. Except Huapao fight, there are other activities like lu sheng performance, Cai tang dance, singing, Gui opera and Caidiao performance, bull fight and so on. Lu sheng, a reed-pipe wind instrument, is an instrument used by ethnic groups like the Dong, Miao, and Yao. Lu sheng and Cai tang performances are traditional and regular performances to the Dong people. Through those interesting and amusing activities, people would enjoy their playingsand have a better communication with their partners, friends and families.
On the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, the Dong and Yao people would have a bull fight festival. Bull is an important labor in farming in the ancient time, and it helps people plough earth and transport things. And people have special feelings with bull, and worship bull. Then people pick strong bull to have a fight competition.
On the sixth day of the sixth lunar month, Shaiyi Festival with a history of several hundred years is celebrated by the Hong Yao people in Longsheng who are a branch of the Yao people. At that day, Hong Yao people would hang out all their bright-colored clothes to absorb sunshine, and the sunshine would sterilize the clothes. It is said that in that day, sunshine is best for sterilization. Besides, they would have singing and dancing performances, and performances about ethnic customs.
In the period from October to December, Guilin International Scenery Cultural Tourism Festival would be held, which is one of the biggest cultural tourism festivals, and it is first held in 1992. In this festival, there are lots of activities from several topics, like tourism, culture sports and exhibition, which present the culture and scenery of Guilin to the world and enrich people’s life, and some programs of its art show are performances played by foreigners. This festival shows Guilin’s historical, cultural and travel resources, and is a propaganda of Guilin as an international tourism city.
In December, Yangshuo Fishing Festival is grandly celebrated by local people and tourists, and it is first celebrated in 1999. It is about a distinctive fishing in Yangshuo: in night, fishermen paddle bamboo rafts with lights on the raft which would attract fish to come , then fishermen would use fishing nets to encircle fish. The cormorant in water would use its mouth to grab fish for the fisherman. This kind of fishing is usually a group activities, and the scene of such a fishing forms a beautiful picture. This festival lasts for three days, and it has art shows, art and photographic exhibition, and other activities, centering on fishing and lantern, firework and bonfire.
Guilin still has other festivals, some are not well-known, belonging to a small group of people, and some are for certain groups, like Yangshuo rock climbing festival. When you are in Guilin, you would be attracted by its festivals and know its history, culture and Guilin people through those festivals.