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Guniangjie Festival of Yao Ethnic Minority

Guniangjie, or the Girls Street Festival, is a special traditional festival of Yao Minority. It’s spent on the first market day after the Spring Festival. During the day, girls of different minorities would present primitive songs and dances with the accompaniment of different musical instrument. The festival is also a hustling and bustling fair available with assorted ornaments and traditional wares.

Among the crowds, those traditionally-attired young girls are most eye-catching. They are from different minorities. Yao: wearing cross-stitch embroidered clothes, earrings and bracelets; Miao: wearing large-collar coat, pleated skirts and several necklaces; Hani: wearing dark clothes and large silver necklace; and Yi: wearing embroidered coats and silver-bulb hats etc. They troop around the street and sell home-made farm products. If we have already enjoyed the Costumes Contest Festival of Yi in Chuxiong, the Girls Street of Yao could absolutely be another “fashion show”.

Plowing Show is an amusing program of Yaos when they spend the Spring Festival. It’s put on at the village square on Jan 1st, and staged by three people, one playing as the buffalo, one as peasant controlling the plough and another one also as peasant holding a spade or hoe. After the Plowing Show, the young will stage songs and dances, and if one girl finds her Mr. Bright, she would offer a piece of embroidery work or silver adornment as a token of love. In some areas, the newlyweds must prepare gifts and pay New Year call to the bridal family who always arrange a decent banquet dinner. At the dinner, the bridal father would present folk songs to advise them to be hard-working in the future, to be harmonious and to cement their love for ever.

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