Flower Festival (Fairy Festival) of Nu Ethnic Minority
The Fairy Festival, also known as the Flower Festival(鲜花节), is a traditional folk festival of Nu ethnic groups(怒族) in Gongshan area(贡山) of Yunnan Province. It is held on the fifteenth day of the lunar third month every year. At that time, the caves with stalactites will be chosen as fairy caves by villages, and people will take sacrificial supplies to worship them one after another. Festival activities include offering sacrifices to fairy caves and greeting holy water, singing and dancing for happiness, sports and so on.
A long time ago, there was a girl named A Rong(阿茸) in Nujia Village. She was not only beautiful, but also smart and clever. One day, when she was weaving at home, she saw a spider under the eaves weaving a web in the sky. Inspired by this, she invented the slip rope. with her villagers who followed her, she cut the golden bamboo and weaved it into slip ropes, which were erected on the torrential Nujiang River(怒江) and solved the difficulty of crossing the river for the villagers. A Rong invented the slip rope and was known as a fairy. When the slave owner knew it, he sent some slavers to propose A Rong to marriage, which was rejected by Anchor. A Rong refused. The slave owner was so angry that he sent his slavers to rob her relatives. A Rong knew it and hid in a stalactite cave in the deep mountains. Slave owners in turn ordered the family to set fire to the mountains, and Anrong died unfortunately. To commemorate her, the Nu ethnic groups designated the day when A Rong died as Flower Festival.
Every year, there are thousands of participants in Flower Festival. Everyone wears Festival costumes, gathers in front of fairy’s cave with sacrifices and wine from surrounding villages. Lamas of Puhua Temple(普化寺) beat drums and chant sutras. Everyone kowtows and presents flowers, seeds and wine. Legend has it that the stalactites transformed by Anchor will flow out of the cave, that is, holy water. Young women will enter the cave to receive Holy water. Then people will drink together, sing and dance all night long, praying for fairies and mountain gods to bless the well-being and happiness, five valleys and six animals to flourish. At the same time, national sports activities such as crossbow shooting, race and wrist wrestling are also carried out.
Chinese Version: http://www.ynich.cn/view-ml-11110-1404.html Translated by Olive Zhang/张银芳