Sister's Meal Festival, China

What is China's Sister's Meal Festival, and how can you experience the best bits?

Sister's Meal Festival, China

Location

Shīdòng, China

Dates

Begins on the 15th day of the third lunar month (usually mid- to late April)

Description

Love is in the air in this courtship ritual in eastern Guìzhōu, when young Miao (or Hmong) women and men set about finding themselves partners through the medium of sticky rice. To a soundtrack of music from the lusheng (a reed instrument), and amid dancing, paper-dragon fights and buffalo fighting, the young Miao women dress in exquisite embroidery and kilograms of silver jewellery (the Miao believe that silver can dispel evil spirits). Their suitors come like Don Juans, serenading the women and presenting a parcel of dyed rice to the ladies who have taken their fancy.

The women hand back different parcels of rice. Inside, like a fortune cookie, are a variety of unspoken messages. If there are two chopsticks in the rice, it’s an acceptance of the proposal, while a single chopstick is a polite refusal. A chilli is the most definite of rebukes.

Level of Participation

1 – watch love weave its spell.

Essentials

To reach Shīdòng travel through Táijiāng. Minibuses between the two take around two hours.

Other Local Attractions

Shīdòng is a good place to buy inexpensive embroidery and silver. There’s also a local market held every six days.

More Info: 

China National Tourism Administration website.

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