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Gan Qiu Po Festival of the Miao/Hmong  
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  Gan Qiu Po Festival of the Miao/Hmong

  Qiupo, also called “Zhayinpo”, is a mountain in Baitang, Guizhou. With a width of 0.5km, length of 1.5km, the top mountain is flat with green grass. The “Gan Qiu Po” festival is held at this grassland once a year from the past among which the Miao are the majority of the participants of the festival.

While the beginning of the fall arrives, the Miao, Buyi and Han in festival dress come to join the festival from Changshun, Zhiyun, Huishui and Guiyang in groups, they may walk, may come by motorbikes or vans from different directions. On this day, young girls and men stay together, they sing folk songs, play Suona, play Yueqing(a kind of musical instrument) to appreciate good life and pure love, to show the happiness of bump harvest of crops. “Gan Qiu Po” already became an important fare for the young of this region during which they communicate with each other and look for love partners. At the festival ground, people who can’t sing folk song are not welcomed, so the one who has good voice and can sing beautiful folk songs always attracts the others, even win the true love of him or her. On this day, there might be more than 4 or 5 thousand people joining the festival, vendors of goods, candies, cold rice noodles also come to take part in the festival.

About the festival, there is a popular moving legend among the Miao/Hmong at the area of Baitang and Mengqiu.
According to the story, in the past, a group of Miao people who were family He, family Yang, family Wu and family Luo made a long and hard migration journey from the Yangzi river to this region with the leading by a mythological dog. While they got to Baishuniu village, they found the road so hard and rugged, the mountain so high, the valley so deep, then decided to stop here for a rest, however, the mythological dog left the group and continued his trip forward, suddenly disappeared. This dog ran to the region of Baitang, he took a shower in the stream and turned over in the mud, then he ran back to the place where his owner stopped, and people found the mud on his body, they were so happy to find a new fertile place for living and farming, so they followed the dog to Baitang and settled there. They were are divided into several groups and moved to live in Yangque village, Yangjiaoya, Shaken, Mengqiu, when saying goodbye to each other, they made a promise, they decided to get together at this place while the next beginning of the autumn falls.
One year later, the Miao carrying their family, tasty rice wine gathered at Zhayinpo, they sang beautiful songs, dance folk dances to celebrate the happiness of with more babies, good harvest of crops and good life. Thus the festival was passed down from generation to generation. At the beginning, only Miao participated in the festival( Gan Qiu Po), slowly, the participants are also Buy and Han, especially it became a popular festival for the young.

To commemorate the mythological dog, the Miao family He, Luo, Yang and Wu at this region don’t eat dog meat till nowadays. There is an old Miao song telling us about the story, it goes:
Fireflies glittering,
Spiders pulling threads.
Leading to Xinzhai village, pulling to Baitang,
Leading to Matoushan mountain, pulling to Yangjiaoya Cliff.
We walking along the spider threads under the lighting of fireflies,
Walking and walking,
Crossing 99 mountains,
Getting over 99 valleys,
Getting to Matoushan mountain, reaching Yangjiaoya Cliff.
Visiting all of Miao villages.
Coming back to Zhayinpo mountain next year,
Drinking some rice wine made by you,
asting a piece of rice candy made by me.
The brave young of Miao,
he girls of Miao as flowers,
Letting it produce golden sunshine by the Lusheng,
etting songs make a bump harvest of crops.
The life of the Miaos,
Thousands of years, long live……

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