Experiencing the authentic culture of China’s ethnic minority groups is a trip highlight while in the Guizhou countryside. If you plan to visit during the Miao Festivals, you are in for a real treat; a trip around mid-November will land you in the middle of the celebrations. During this time, you will see women in black tunics patterned with bright reds and blues and shimmering silver headdresses rested atop their brows. They will laugh, smile, and dance, and even offer you a sip of their powerful rice wine.
The Miao New Year is celebrated from November 3rd to the 7th. At this time of the year, the whole village is gathered as one big family, visiting each other and joining feasts of tofu, pork sausages, and wine. Also, its common that young couples get married around this time of the year. These unions are celebrated with 9 days of singing and dancing. Compared to the New Year’s Eve celebration at Time Square, the Miao New Year is less crowded but the enthusiasm and cheering is none less than the New Yorkers’ countdown.
At the end of November another grand celebration takes place in Guizhou, the Grand Dong Minority Singing Festival in Congjiang. Dong minority resides in this remote yet diverse area along with other hidden minorities. Kam Grand Choirs from the Dong minority is very intriguing; its said that for years they passed down their culture without a written language, using singing to communicate. The Dong locals consider singing as a daily routine such as dining, and they cherish it as a passage of knowledge.
If you’ve already seen China’s cities or are simply looking for a trip that is on the road less traveled, Guizhou is the perfect answer. WildChina’s rustic journey through Guizhou and Guangxi, recognized as one of National Geographic Traveler’s “Tours of a Lifetime,” will make you feel like you strolled into an old Chinese watercolor. This active trip keeps you moving with dancing and singing while you enjoy the hospitality of various cultures that simply can’t be depicted in documentaries. When your trip is over, you won’t feel like you are exiting a foreign museum, but as if you are leaving a foreign world.
Have we caught your interest? Schedule your next China journey around one of Guizhou’s festivals:
- The Dong Choral Festival, a time of song and celebration, will take place at the end of November.
- The beginning of May is when to visit to experience the The Sister’s Festival matchmaking ceremonies.
- The Lusheng Festival, with performances of the traditional bamboo pipe instrument, is in mid-November.
- The celebration of the Miao New Year happens in early November.
Editor: Kayla Paramore