Yunnan Festivals by Themes
Search for a Tour
  • Kunming
  • Dali
  • Lijiang
  • Shangrila
  • Yuanyang
  • Jinghong
  • Beijing
  • Xian
  • Shanghai
  • Guilin
  • Chengdu
  • Guangzhou
Start City
Search for a Tour
Wechat: Adventure-China
Have a question? Ask us here
Yunnan Tour Feedbacks
The New Year Festival of Yi Ethnic Group

Yi ethnic calendar a year is divided into ten months. The festival lasts three days, beginning from the zodiac Tiger Day of the lunar October, and the date is determined by Bimos (Yi ethnic priests).

The first day
On the first day, each family will slaughter a pig to prepare pork. But in the old times, chieftains used to slaughter cattle, rich families slaughtered pigs or goats, but the poor only prepare chicken--and sometimes they only prepared simple chicken or eggs for the New Year Festival.

A ceremony called "Dian Yan Huo" must be held when people slaughter pig for pork. It is in fact a bonfire set alight to "inform" the souls of ancestors to "come back home" to celebrate the New Yew Festival.

Songmu: the sacrificial ceremony before the New Year banquet
The ceremony is often similar to the one people stage in many places. Songmu ceremony features sacrificial offerings including cooked pork, such as pork liver, pork belly, and pork head--all of which a little share is needed to top the steamed rice--liquor, candies, tea, and fruits etc; one more thing needed is three pieces of joss sticks. These sacrifices are organised in a wooden tray held by the master of the family who leads all his whole family to carry out the ceremony at the door and in the sitting room.

The second day
The young people will be dressed up in their traditional costumes, gather on the fairground, and play musical instruments such as Yueqin guitars, harmonicas, Sona trumpets, and flutes etc. Relevant games include horse racing, playing on the swing, and left-foot dance etc.

Fore pork legs for kids to play
It is a unique custom of the Yis. When people slaughter pig for pork during the New Year Festival, the fore pork legs must be cooked (boiled) for the kids who will chain them with some buckwheat pancakes for picnic. The picnic serves as a party for young people to know each other and even for romance involvement.

Meanwhile, others will stay in the villages to continue the festival. Women stay at home preparing food for guests, and men will visit families one by one as well-wishers.

The third day: seeing off the ancestors
People get up early in the morning to re-prepare dishes to "see off" the souls of ancestors. At the same time, they will prepare rations for ancestors and put some oats or corns in the stable trough to mean "feeding the spiritual horses of the ancestors". A sacrificial ceremony similar to that on the first day will be held for the ancestors, and when it is over the New Year Festival nearly comes to end.

Yunnan Attractions | Yunnan Festivals | Yunnan Hotels | Yunnan Pictures | Travel News | Yunnan Birding Tours | Yunnan Flowers Tours | Yunnan Golf | Maps of Yunnan | Why Yunnan | Feedback | FAQ | West China Tours


You will only receive emails that you permitted upon submission and your email address will never be shared with any third parties without your express permission.

CONTACT US          ↑TOP
Emergency Call:0086-13529022630
Skype: Adventure-China
Lifang Building-B, Xianggeli Avenue, Gucheng District, Lijiang, Yunnan, China 674100
Copyright © 2015-2018 All Rights Reserved.
Follow us on: