Festival in Nanning
Mang important festivals are celebrated in Nanningas a big event like all the people in China do, Spring Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, and National Day, but there are some special festivals which only celebrated by Nanning people.
In the eleventh day of the first lunar month, people in Binyang county would celebrate Paolong Festival(炮龙节). This festival has a history of several hundred years, and it has been included into the second list of National Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2008. On that day, people make Paolong, and have a festival parade in the morning and a feast in the afternoon and an opening ceremony in the evening. It has a regular course for parade, and the parade team is more than three hundred meters long. The parade is divided into several themes, and its front has eight lions and two dragons, and there are two puppets of Sun Wukong and Zhu Bajie to lead the road for each lion. The lions are followed by colorful shelves of different themes, and every shelf is carried by four people, and the shelf has several children in cosplay. The feast in the afternoon is called Dengjiu or Dingjiu , and in the ancient times, the feast is held by families having male children born in that year, and they invite other families to share and celebrate their luck and happiness. The celebration has wishes of having male children in the next year and having a successful cause for the presented families. In the nowadays, the feast is held in the street, and the cost of the feast is evenly paid by residents living in the street. The opening ceremony has a ritual of Kaiguang, a parade of fire basket and torch, and Paolong dance. Paolong dance is a little different from dragon dance, because Paolong can breath fire.
Sanyuesan Festival or Sanyuesan Gexu is a festival not only for the Zhuang people but also for other ethnic groups, like the Miao. Gexu has the meaning of singing congregation. Sanfuesan Festival occurs on the third day of the third lunar month, and it is the most important festival to the Zhuang, which has the essence of Luoyue culture to the Zhuang people. In Wuming county of Nanning, people would make it a grand festival, Wuming Luoyue cultural tourism festival, and there are over forty activities, including singing dancing and martial arts performance. Sange is the most traditional culture of the Zhuang, and it is used to record history, describe their life and express their emotion. Sange is a singing form of the Zhuang, and it usually has more than two singers, and the singing goes on in a form of questioning and answering. On the festival day, people would make sacrifice to their ancestors, and have a feast, and take part in singing competition. Two activities, sacrifice to ancestors and tomb-sweeping , are very important, and people would clean their ancestors' tombs, present sacrifice offerings, burn incense sticks and paper specially made money, and set off firecrackers. For this two activities, people would go home for family reunion, wherever they are.
On the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, there is festival called Nongju Festival, or farming tool festival, which is popular in Natong of Long' an county, and has a history over four hundred years. On the festival day, people would make sacrifice to the god of rice and to farming tools, make rituals to praying rainfall, watch entertainment performance and do other activities. In Long' an county, there is a Na culture, and lots of places are named after Na, like Natong, and Nazhong, and it has many historical and sacrificial sites of big stone shovels. This festival inherits the ancient sacrifice to big stone shovels. The ancient Luoyue people would have sacrificial ceremony of washing and preserving rake and plough after the end of rice transplanting. This festival keeps the custom of rice culture.
On the twenty-ninth day of the fifth lunar month, the Yao people In Zhenxu Yao township would have a festival called Danu Festival, which is the birthday of their ancestor. On this festival, the Yao people would have a luxurious meal, and drink lots of wine. One special dish is kebab, and a piece of kebab has seven chunks of meat. The kebab is given to other people and the receiver can't refuse it. After the meal, the Yao people would have dance performance of the Yao style, which includes Hougu dance(猴鼓舞), Leigong dance(雷公舞) and Dalie dance(打猎舞).
In the fourteenth day of the seventh lunar month, Nanning people would have a festival called Ghost Festival, which is originated from the ancient Luoyue country. The Ghost Festival is a sacrifcial festival, grandly celebrated in Nanning, and it is also a day for family congregation and reunion. On that day, people make sacrifice to their ancestors, and duck is one of the sacrificical offerings, and people would cook duck to eat. At evening, people let water lantern floating on rivers to welcome the souls of their ancestors. Why would duck be so important on this festival? It is said that duck can carry the ancestors' soul, and then the time of having this festival is the mature period of duck .
From the last ten-day of October to the first ten-day of November Nanning would hold a festival, Nanning International Folk Song Festival, which is first held in 1993 by Nanning government. It invites artists home and abroad to participate, and it is a platform of culture communication. On the festival, there are lots of entertaining activities, like singing and dancing.