SW China/Guizhou Textiles & Festival Travel Guide
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South Guizhou

Scenic spots:
  There are numerous scenic spots in South Guizhou worth a visit, Xiaoqikong(Seven minor arches stone bridge)is one of the most famous ones, followerd by Daqikong(Seven big arches stone bridge) in Libo, Jiacha waterfall in Pingtang, Big and small wells in Luodian and the like.

  Xiaoqikong lies in Maolan national class nature reserve which was named as a world nature heritage in 2007. Xiaoqikong is featured by cascades, virgin forests, forests on water, lakes. The representative spots are Laya Waterfall, Sixty eight cascades, forests on water, Manderin duck lake and Wolong Pool. A hiking tour in the park is very interesting.

  For more information of other scenic spots in South Guizhou, please contact the travel agency.
The ethnic group museum and old street in Duyun are worth a visit too.

Minority villages:

  A few minority villages in the region are very interesting and worth visiting where you can see Yao people, Shui, Buyi, Maonan, Raojia and different kind of Miao such as Small flower Miao, White collar Miao, Hundred bird Miao, Sea shell Miao, Blue Miao and Iron smith Miao.

Small flower Miao village:
  Just few adventure travellers have been to the Small flower village, thus it's really worth a visit, especially suitable for FIT. In the village, you will see indego dyeing, wax printing in lucky, the villagers are hospitable too. Their costume is extremely beautiful and unique, even nowadays married women still wear pleated batik skirt. The annual festival on the first lunar calendar is also interesting, during the festival, local men play Lusheng(Bamboo flute musical instrument), and girls follow the step in a circle in finely made festival dress.

White pant Yao village:
  I also highly recommend the White pant Yao village, their costumes and architectures are excellent. The White pant Yao has a small population in the province and they mainly live in the very poor and remote regions, so they seem much poor than the other minority, they especially lacks of drinking water and natural water for irrigation.

Shui village:
  There are some Shui villages in the region worth visiting where you could see the famous horse-tail embroidery, the best patterns can be found on baby carrier.
The recommended villages are Shuige, Shuiba, Zhenlei, Banmiao, Yangwen, Langmu and Bangao.
  18miles away from Duyun-the capital city of South Guizhou, Langmu Shui village is the hometown of folk papercut. The village is surrounded by green trees and beautiful scenery. Now there is a song and dance group in the village displaying the village's songs, dances, embroidery and papercut after it's opening to foreign tourists in 2002.

Raojia village:
  About 9 miles away from Duyun in the town of Luobang lived an unrecognized ethnic group called Raojia which is not included in the 55 minorities. Their house strucures, costume, festivals, wedding ceremony are different from the others.

Pojiao Miao village: 

 Pojiao Miao village is 22 miles away from Duyun City. Some 300 families live in the village, and they are all Miao. The village is so called Pojiao, because it lies at the foot of the moutain. All the houses here are made of wood-China fir or pine, the houses on stilts are from 2-3 stories. If you are willing to spend some money, you may ask them to have the performance during which you will see Lusheng, hear folk songs and drink rice wine. You may also purchase Miao embroidery and silver ornaments.

Festivals in Huishui county:
  There are a few interesting festivals in Huishui county among the minorities, namely March 3rd, April 8th, June 6th and Tiaohuachang(Dancing on the flower ground)
March 3rd: A grand Lusheng gathering was held on this day, more ceremonious activities such as horse race and antiphonal singing were arranged to worship ancestors.
April 8th is also called Picking vegetables festival or Eating black glutineous rice festival, on this day, the Miao in festival dress from nearby villages get together and dance Lusheng in order to commemorate forefathers and for fun.

Sandu county:
  Being the only one Shui autonomous couty in the county, Sandu is located in the southeast of South Guizhou with a latitute of 25-26 degrees north the equator and a longitude of 107-108 degrees east the equator, borders Leishan and Rongjiang counties in the east, Libo in the south, Dushan and Duyun in the west. The county is 56km long from the east to the west and 78km from the south to the north. It covers a total area of 2400 square kms with a topography of high in the northwest and low in the southeast.
The average elevation of Sandu is 500-1000 meters, its highest point reaches 1665.5 meters and lowest place is 303 meters. The county's average annual tempreture is 18 degrees centigrade with an annual rainfall of 1349.5 mm.
  The county includes 10 towns and 11 townships, 270 villages with a total population of 324000 in which the minority makes up 96.4%. 64.8% among them is the Shui which makes up more 50% of the total of the Shui in China.
  Sandu has a long history of some 1360 years, thus a lot of interesting sites can be found in the region and rich minority culture is well preseverd where you could see the famous horse tail embroidery, exquisite papercuts. The Shui and Miao in the region still keep their peculiar hailstyle and beautiful costume, and all these is worth visiting. You may see the traditional festivals such as Duan festival and Mao festival in lucky.
Recently a few interesting minority villages in the county were opened to tourists, the recommened ones are Shuige Shui village, Banmiao Shui village, Bangao Shui village, Tangdang village, Yangweng Shui village, Zenlei village and Gaozhai Miao village.
The markets in Bajie, Dujiang, Zhonghe and Dayu are very interesting too.

Duan Festival of the Shui:
  Calculated and decided by the Shui's lunar calendar, Duan festival of the Shui is similar to the Spring festival of the Han. Duan festival is called " Jieduan" by the Shui which is from December to the next February in the Shui lunar calendar, similar to August, September and October of the Han chinese lunar calendar. The festival is held on the pig days lasting 72 days which is regarded as the largest festival in the Shui region and the longest period festival in the world.
  Eighth, ninth and tenth lunar months are the end and beginning of the Shui lunar calendar, it is also the season when the rice is ripe. In the Shui language, " Jie" means eating or spending, " Duan" indicates the beginning of the year in Han language meaning to worship ancestors and cherish for bump harvest, also it's a get-together time for the whole family members.
  Called " Hai", the day of the pig is on the 12th place belonging to water from which all things on earth originated. So to choose December, January and Feburary of the Shui calendar as the time to spend the Duan festival means the coming of the year, also pray for favorable weather for the crops, good heath for the family, making more money from raising domestic animals in the coming new year.
  " worshipping ancestors", " worshipping Duan slope", " worshipping Xideng", " worshipping bronze drum" are the main ceremonious activities during the Duan festival. Sacrificing ancestors in the Duan festival is a must activity for every Shui family. From the thirtyth day(the day of the dog) on the last moth of the old year to the first day(the day of the pig) of the new year, every fa mily prepare plenty of food such as Carp boiled with leek, pumpkin, eggplant, fruits, rice on the table in order to worship ancestors, it is called " Yulunduan" in the Shui language. On the morning of the day of the pig, all family members and relatives get together and worship ancestors by offering food to the shine, burning joss stick, money paper before eating the food so as to pray for good fortune from the ancestors. Usually a pig whose hair has been plucked was placed on the table too as the sacefice for the ancestors. Then some families start to beat bronze drums. In the afternoon after the big family banquet lunch, the villagers go to the festival ground enjoying horse race, bullfight, chess playing, Lusheng playing, rowing dragon, singsing Shui folk songs, bronze drum beating. Vendors are yearn for selling goods, kids are cry for candies from mother, on the festival ground, you also see the gorgeous horse tail embroidery baby carrier-the masterpiece of Shui women's wisdom and hardwork, everyone was deeply intoxicated with the sprit of the festival till darkness arrives.



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All texts and image by Chen Hualong Email: tony6868@163.com alongdiscovery@hotmail.com
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