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Rongshui Miao Holiday: Gathering on the Slope

Gathering on the slope is a traditional Miao festival, especially in the villages of Rongshui County, South China's Guangxi province. The gatherings, held daily from the 3rd to the 17th day of the 1st lunar month, are occasions for the local Miao people to commemorate their martyrs, exorcise evils and pray for blessings, invigorate morale, and have good time. As huge lusheng models are built at the site and young men coming to the party all bring along their own lusheng, it is also called Lusheng Festival.

On this day, dozens of lusheng models are erected on the mountain slope called Gulong (Ancient Dragon) Slop in Xiangfen Township of Rongshui County. Around each of these huge bamboo pipes is a lusheng band. Everyone is in a festive mood-the young men playing their lusheng in teams, the young women holding their colorful umbrellas dancing around them, turning the slop into a vibrant sea of music and color.

The sheer quantity and size of the instruments on this occasion is incomparable. Large ones send out a low but resounding tune, while high-pitched ones produce rhythmic, resonant tones and tiny ones carry crisp, melodious tunes. Altogether, a concerto of harmonies music fills the atmosphere of the mountain slops. While the musicians dance with powerful steps, the girls dance with graceful and elegant steps in flowing gentle colors.

Gathering on the slope is a time for lovers. Young men carry reed-pipe wind instruments while young women wear the silk decorations. They happily gather on the slope of a hill. When the beating of the gongs starts, young men begin to play the musical instruments. With the girls watching, players try their best, turning round and jumping back and forth, dancing to the lively rhythm. Girls are also dancing to the music while paying attention to the boys they like. If they find a boy they fancy, they will go over and tie colorful ribbons to the boys' musical instruments and hold the ribbons while dancing to the music. As it gets dark, lovers are scattered along the slope, whispering or singing folk songs in an antiphonal style, or exchanging keepsakes.

Gathering on the slope is also a chance for the people to show their brilliance, make friends, exchange information and techniques, and discuss businesses.

Gatherings on the slope is a unique festival that reflects the folk traditions of the local Miao people, and also a festival that boosts the Miao's recognition of their culture.

Rongshui Miao Holiday: Gathering on the Slope
Rongshui Miao Holiday: Gathering on the Slope
Author/Editor By : HCT