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Sigangli Carnival of Wa Ethnic Minority

Sigangli Carnival is held in late April or early May every year. Sigangli is the Genesis of Wa people; it indicates that Wa people and even humankinds were born out of the calabash and cave (Sigangli, a Wa word referring to calabash). Therefore, Cangyuan County (Lincang Municipality) is also nicknamed “the kingdom of calabash”. Grand activities are held during the carnival, such as evening parties reflecting Wa’s history, Wa style bull fighting, folk sports games and trade fairs etc. The theme of the carnival is “paint you black”, derived from a Wa custom of painting the face black with smoke ashes from cooking woks, ox blood and mud to expel evil spirits and invoke bliss. Nowadays, Wa people resort to a natural paint to pray for each other; this natural paint is said to be able to relieve the summer heat and to beautify. The carnival meanwhile is supposed to show Wa customs: mystical oxen butchering dance, wooden drum dance, unconstrained hair-swinging dance, sublime Cangyuan cliff paintings, colorful weaving and carving styles etc.

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