Guizhou’s Best Festivals of 2017

All throughout the year, Guizhou’s vibrant ethnic communities celebrate their traditions with vividly colorful festivals. 49 ethnic minorities are living in Guizhou, including the Man, Hui, Yao, Dong, Tujia, Zhuang, and Miao. These festivals are a perfect way to experience and celebrate these many faces of the Chinese minority culture. Visitors from around the world and even other parts of China journey there to witness these traditional festivals.

Here is a calendar of Guizhou festivals we have put together so you can get in on the action!

Dragon Boat Festival – May 30, 2017

The Dragon Boat Festival is also known as Duanwu Festival and is an important traditional celebration in China. The Dragon Boat Festival occurs near the summer solstice; the 5th day of the 5th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. This year’s Festival falls on Tuesday, May 30th. All across China, citizens mark the occasion by eating Zongzi, a triangular rice snack, and drinking wine.

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If you’re in China at the right time, you should definitely try Zongzi as they are absolutely delicious! At the Dragon Canoe Festival in Guizhou, you can witness the Miao ethnic people race each other in traditional boats while dressed in purple and gold.

Sister’s Meal Festival – April 11-13


Source: Vimeo

The Sister’s Meal Festival is the oldest ‘Valentine’s Day’ celebration in Asia. It is an important festival of the Miao minority people in southwestern China’s Guizhou province, especially in the Jianhe and Taijiang counties along the banks of the Qingshui River in China. The Sister’s Meal Festival is a celebration of spring and love. It began as a simple courtship ceremony where young Miao women and young Miao men could meet and embark on a life together. Because of their enthusiastic displays of local music and dance and colorful traditional dresses, the festival now draws a much larger crowd than when it began. In 2017, you can expect to be among thousands of other visitors who will assemble to observe this ancient ceremony performed once more.

Lusheng Festival – February 2017, Several Dates

The biggest event of the Miao New Year is the Lusheng Festival. The Lusheng Festival is famous all throughout the Guizhou Province and is the most significant festival of the Miao community. Kaili, Guizhou holds the grandest and most famous of them all. The Lusheng, a bamboo instrument, is the foundation of all Miao New Year celebrations. A Lusheng can be up to three meters long and produces a sound you’re not likely to hear from any other instrument. The Miao boys haul the instruments to Lusheng Stadium where they perform a dazzling display of music and dance while the females dress up in their best traditional attire.

Miao New Year – November 5, 2017



The Miao people have their own way of welcoming in the New Year, and their own calendar for deciding when it is.  The Miao New Year usually happens around the 9th, 10th or 11th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. On June 7th, 2008, The Miao New Year was added to China’s non-material cultural heritage list. Out of all the Miao festivities, this is the grandest! To celebrate the event, the Miao people prepare by collecting provisions, organizing ancestor devotions, and visiting neighboring villages while playing the Lusheng. You can witness brilliantly vibrant Miao customs come to life with a variety of activities during this event. These include lots of singing and dancing, horse racing, bullfights, traditional lusheng (a bamboo instrument) music, and the festival parade which features Miao girls and women in traditional dress.

Miao Long Table Banquet – August 3-6, 2017

The Miao ethnic minority continue to stay true to their traditional cuisine, lifestyle, and dress despite the swift changes China has been through. The Miao Long Table Banquet is a much-welcomed remedy to the hunger pangs of a long day of sightseeing. You can taste dishes like Oil Tea made with salt and ginger and Sour Fish Soup, and indulge in spirited toasts with local rice wine. The Long Table Banquet is a significant tradition with a connection to the past honoring a local goddess who was once able to feed the whole village. Each dish comes from the unique methods brought down from by Miao people for centuries to honor special occasions.

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Lesley Daunt

Lesley Daunt is a travel writer that has written for numerous newspapers and magazines, including The Huffington Post, Examiner, Digital Journal and more.
Lesley Daunt