Luoxiang Lusheng Festival of the Dong Ethnic Group
The 8th lunar month is
a traditional Lusheng festival of the Dong ethnic group in the areas of
Liudong, Congjiang, namely Luoxiang.
The Dong ethnic group spend the Lusheng festival in Luoxiang once every
two years to commemorate the founding of water-wheels and celebrate good
harvest of crops. The Lusheng groups from Pilin, Xin’an, Datuan, Qingyun,
Zhaoxing, Jitang and Diping, etc gather together here in Luoxiang and
join the Lusheng playing competition.
Why do people come to participate in the Lusheng festival in Luoxiang?
It says a long time ago, Luoxiang was an area with flat, fertile lands,
the river flows along the foot of the village. But the river was low,
and the rice terraces were on high hills, water couldn’t be irrigated
to the rice terraces. While the drought year arrives, crops can’t grow,
there is no good harvest, people can’t survive. There was a man whose
family name is Lu in Luoxiang, to let his people live here for ever, he
walked along the stream at his village and tried to observe the stream
gradient. After many days and nights’ hard work, he invented water-wheels,
he used wood and bamboos to make water-wheels, thus people could irrigate
water from the stream to the rice fields, and they could plant rice on
the terraced fields.
The news of invention of water-wheel was disseminated amongst the nearby
Dong villages like wind, people from neighboring villages came to watch
the water-wheels, and not too long later, many villagers from the nearby
villages could learn how to make water-wheels by themselves too.
After the invention of water-wheels, the Dong people in the area of
Luoxiang had good harvest of crops, the life of here became better and
better day-by-day, thus the family Lu’s clan settled down in Luoxiang
from generation to generation till now.
To remember the founder(Gongmen in Dong language) of the water-wheel and
to thank for the villagers from Luoxiang, the Dong people of Liudong area-Xin’an,
Pilin, Zhaoxing, Jitang, etc get together in Luoxiang at the day of founding
water-wheel on the 8th lunar month, they played Lusheng and sang folk
At the night before the festival arrives, the villagers of the two
villages-Pingwang and Zhaida in Luoxiang are busy preparing festive goods,
they kill pigs, goats and chicken so as to treat guests and relatives.
While the festival arrives, in the morning, young boys and girls in festival
dress follow the village heads, they play Lusheng, they walk to the villages’
“Sasui” temple, and worship their ancestor. Then one old man carries a
gourd full of tea water by one hand, and carries a black umbrella on his
shoulder, the other old man carries a bunch of mountain grass waving forward
and backward, the young in festival dress follow them and start a grand
mysterious ceremony. They walk into the Lusheng ground and play Lusheng.
When the Lusheng groups and relatives from the other villages get to
the edge of the host’ village, the host villagers play Lusheng and set
off fireworks from iron cannons to greet them, each Lusheng group plays
three Lusheng songs, then they are allowed to get into the Lusheng ground
of the host village.
At around 12:00am, all the Lusheng groups from nearby villages already
get to the host village’s Lusheng ground, each group has about 20-30 or
even to 50 Lusheng players, the host village is in charge of the match,
then different Lusheng groups will join the Lusheng competition till the
championship comes into being. The village old are the referees of the
Lusheng match, the more louder of the Lusheng music, the winner is.
After 15:00pm, the villagers from the host village offer sticky rice
wine to the relatives and guests, men play Lusheng to celebrate the bump
harvest of crops, finally a red flag is given to the championship, and
the festival comes to the end with noisy fireworks setting off and Lusheng