Hezhou is a place that minority nations living together, each nation created a splendid ethnic culture here, and left over affluent immaterial cultural relics. Different cultures have merged here, conjuring a unique atmosphere. The city is populated by a number of ethnic minorities. There are more than 20 ethnic groups such as Han, Zhuang, Yao, Miao, Hui, Manchu, Dong, Molao, Li, Tujia and others.
Different nationalities have different folk customs and their own traditional festivals. Like any other place in China, common traditional holidays like Lunar New Year (The day falls between 22 January and 19 February, varying every year), Lantern Festival (15th day of 1st moon), Dragon Boat Festival (5th day of lunar 5th moon), Mid-Autumn Festival (15th of lunar 8th moon) are celebrated most ardently but the true highlights are undoubtedly the ethnic holidays. Therefore, when you come to Hezhou, you will find that in addition to the traditional festivals of the Han nationality, there are many traditional ethnic festivals. What are the traditional festivals in Hezhou?
The Panwang Festival
Panwang Festival is celebrated by Yao ethnic group as offering sacrifice to ancestors Panking. panwang festival falls in 16th of October(lunar), which is the biggest and ceremonious festival of Yao people. So far it has been more than 1,700 years of history. The Yao people believe in the "Pan Wang" and regard him as the ancestor of the nation. At the grand and solemn ceremony, the Yao men and women of all ages must wear festive costumes of their own nationalities, gathering together to sing and dance and celebrating the Pan-Wang Festival. Their faces are radiant with bright smiles. The ancestors of the Panwang are worshiped in the form of chanting, offering wine, dancing, and serving incense.
The Yao Nationality Panwang Festival has been included in the China National Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Third of March
Third of March (lunar) is Zhuang people’s Song Festival. Man and woman, young and old will gather together and sing songs ranging from lyrics, old songs and love songs, etc. Song Festival is not only a grand event to promote national culture, but also a grand gathering for national economic exchanges. This holiday has developed into the Art Festival of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and it become a public holiday in Guangxi.
Zhalong festival is the annual Yao people’s carnival in Fuchuan Yao Autonomous County, the day falls between 10th and 15th of 1st moon, the specific day varying every year. The prelude of Zhalong is shangdeng, which is a traditional Chinese folk festival. The Fuchuan zhalong is the most primitive limb dance that lasted for hundreds of years. On the evening of the festival, the dragon dance team came to the county town to perform a "Dragon Dance" performance. During the performance of the dragon dance, people who came to participate in the event were thrown with lighted firecrackers on the dragon, commonly known as the "Zhalong(fried dragon)." The more firecrackers, the more prosperous this year, the better crop weather, the best prosperity.
Lunar April 8th is celebrated as ox festival by Nanxiang Zhuang ethnic group. On this day, cow does not need to work. People clean the bullpen, insert maple branches at the head of the housing door and bullpen gate, and worship the king of cattle at the cowshed gate. Zhuang People use black glutinous rice with maple tree core and yellow glutinous rice with root juice to eat. In addition to feeding cows with Cabbage leaf wrapped glutinous rice, but also pour a cup of glutinous rice into bullpen
Lunar June 6th is the “Hehuang Festival”, also called “TiantouWeng’s Birthday”, “Zhongtian Festival” and “Tiankuang Festival”. Every household prepares wine to workship Tiantou Weng. After the sacrifice, they will pick up few ear of rice in the fields and hang on the heads of the halls and shrines to express their joy to the ancestors and invite them to try new food.