Guangxi has various traditional festivals and celebrations thanks to its diverse ethnic groups. To make your Guangxi trip more unforgettable, visiting Guangxi during a festival is recommended, when you may learn about the rich traditional festival culture, admire the distinctive and elaborate costumes, appreciate the eye-catching dancing and singing performances, enjoy the delicious and hearty banquets, and peek into the colorful traditions and history…
Zhuang Folk Song Festival (San Yue San)
Date: The 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month
Locations: Guilin, Liuzhou, Nanning, Chongzuo, Hechi
The Folk Song Festival (also known as San Yue San) is one of the main festivals of the Zhuang ethnic group in Guangxi. People wear their festive costumes on this day and participate in various activities, including singing, dancing, playing traditional games, eating particular foods, etc. Apart from commemorating ancestors and entertaining relatives and friends, the main event is to hold a grand traditional "Singing Fair" to pray for good weather and harvest. Also, it is a unique way of social communication for young people. By singing antiphonal songs to each other, the girls will throw embroidery balls to someone who sings well to express their love. In addition, Bull Fighting and Sparkler-Grabbing will be held to increase the festive atmosphere.
Longsheng Yao Red Clothes Festival
Date: The 15th day of the 3rd Lunar Month, or the 8th day of the 4th Lunar Month each year
The Red Clothes Festival is unique to the Red Yao people, who are a branch of Longsheng’s Yao ethnic group. Wearing red is their special feature, so can be distinguished from other minorities in the area. In addition, beautiful, long, dark hair is also a characteristic of the Red Yao women. On March 15th or April 8th of the lunar calendar every year, the Red Yao long-haired women wear their most beautiful homemade red clothes and hold up red umbrellas, singing and dancing to celebrate their unique festival. Various colorful activities will be held, such as folk song competitions, sports meetings, long hair matches, group weddings, etc. It is also an ideal opportunity for unmarried young people to find someone they love.
Panwang Festival of Yao Ethnic Minority
Date: the 16th day of the 10th Lunar Month
Locations: regions where the Yao ethnic minority live in compact communities, such as Gongcheng county in Guilin, and Fuchuan Yao Autonomous County in Hezhou
As one of China's oldest ethnic groups, Yao people regard Panwang, or King Pan, as their mythological ancestor, and celebrate the festival on the 16th day of the 10th lunar month, the birthday of King Pan, to pay tribute to the King. The Panwang Festival has a history of over 1,000 years and has developed into a comprehensive carnival.
During the festival, all Yao people of all ages dressed in their best traditional costumes gather together to offer sacrifices to the King through a mysterious ancestral worship ritual.
For travelers, it is time to feast their eyes on the extremely diversified custom attires and fascinating traditional performances, such as the Chorus of Panwang King, Long-Drum Dance, Umbrella Dance, etc. You may also take part in fun-filled activities, and enjoy the luxurious banquets prepared with fresh local ingredients.
Nanning International Folk Song Arts Festival
Date: September, October or November
Guangxi is honored as "Ocean of Songs". The people of all ethnic groups in Guangxi have always had the custom of singing folk songs, a unique art form of singing life and labor, and expressing their emotions. To carry forward the traditional cultural art and spread Chinese ethnic music to the world, Nanning International Folk Song Arts Festival came into being and has been held annually since 1999. The folk song is a bridge of culture and friendship connecting China and the world. Every year, folk singers from home and abroad will be invited to the festival to fully display the charm of folk music by singing their most famous classical and modern folk songs.
Lusheng and Horse Fighting Festival
Location: Rongshui Miao Autonomous County
Lusheng is a reed-pipe wind instrument played mostly by Miao and Dong ethnic people. In the Lusheng and Horse Fighting Festival held in Rongshui Miao Autonomous County, Liuzhou, Miao ethnic people conduct a series of wonderful activities and performances. Many lusheng dance troupes of the Miao ethnic group, coming from mountainous villages in Rongshui, participate in the festival. They play the lusheng musical pipe to pray for good luck and bumper harvests, perform lusheng dances and bamboo dances, and sing folk songs. As a visitor, you may, together with the villagers, take part in a traditional ritual and attend a banquet prepared for the festival. Horse fighting competition is also one of the highlights.
Dong Duoye Festival
Location: Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County
Meaning "dancing according to music", Duoye is a community dance of the Dong ethnic group. The most representative one is the Duoye Festival held in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County of Liuzhou City, where you may enjoy an almost carnival-like atmosphere. During this traditional celebration, young women wearing their finest embroidered clothing and handmade silver bangles and young men made up with chicken feathers gather around at the square near a drum tower, dancing and singing hand in hand in circles and coils. You may listen to the Kam Grand Choirs, join the Duoye Dance, and enjoy an interesting Long Table Banquet . Besides, you may also admire the imposing drum towers, wind and rain bridges, and relaxed rural scenery.
Yangshuo Li River Fishing Lights Festival
Fishing lights on the Li River is one of the top sights in Yangshuo. In the past, fishermen usually fished at night, riding dozens or even hundreds of bamboo rafts with cormorants, skillful fish catchers, and good assistants to the fishermen. The fish will be lured by the dazzling light of the torches (now the gas lamps) tied on the front of the raft, making it easier for cormorants to prey. After the night falls, the star-studded fishing lights on the river, the cheerful cormorants, the splashes of water, and the picturesque outlines of the peaks make up a magnificent landscape. To reproduce this wonder to the world, the Yangshuo County Government has organized the Li River Fishing Lights Festival annually since 1999.
Dong Fireworks Festival
Date: Different dates in different areas
Locations: Sanjiang, Longsheng, Rongshui
The Fireworks Festival is one of the main traditional festivals of the Dong ethnic group. Scrambling for lucky firecrackers is the most important activity that every village around the area will participate in. The firecrackers are tied with small iron hoops and wrapped in red cloth, which means good fortune and happiness. After being ignited and rushing into the air, hundreds of strong young men will snatch the iron hoops when it falls to the ground. Firecrackers are usually ignited three times. The first means a prosperous population, the second symbolizes a thriving wealth and the third wishes for a rich harvest of grain. Winners usually receive pigs, goats, eggs, etc. as prizes. After that, young men and women will gather to dance and play lusheng, a traditional instrument made of bamboo.
A festival is a window into the local culture and traditions. For more information about traveling to Guangxi during a festival, feel free to contact us at any time.