Miao New Year
Miao New Year
Tuesday 8th – Saturday 12th November 2011
5 days/4 nights
Join the Miao nationality in their special welcome of their New Year in the mountains of Guizhou. Take part in the festivities of China's most fascinating minority as they celebrate the harvest and look forward to the New Year – and celebrate their identity.
Be one of the few foreigners to take part in the Black Miao New Year in Guizhou
Stunning scenery of rice terraces and limestone hills
Wonderful (and spicy) food and delicacies – enjoy banquets in Miao family houses
Witness parades of Miao in their finest costumes – embroider and silver
Experience music, singing, dancing, courting of Miao people
Meet Miao people and learn more about their unique culture
Tuesday 8th November – Day One – fly Shenzhen to Guiyang, the provincial capital of Guiyang. China Southern CZ3435 at 12.15, arriving at 13.50. Visit Qianling park with its gardens, monkeys, temples and musicians, then try silk babies in a local restaurant. In late afternoon take scenic train ride 2.5 hours to Kaili, the cultural hub of eastern Guizhou province. After the journey through the karst landscape and rice fields, transfer to a Miao family hotel in Kaili. Try the local sour hotpot, with the option of going to a foot massage spa or visiting an embroidery display. In the evening we'll learn more about the Black Miao New Year – why? How?
Wednesday 9thNovember – Day Two – after a visit to the Kaili Minorities Museum to learn about the diversity of life in the area, we'll head out to some Miao villages in the countryside to experience the first day of the Miao New Year. Today is the day when all the women of the village are dressed in their finest clothing – bright clothing with embroidery, silver ornaments – and we'll see some parades in villages. See paper making and other handicrafts. The first day of the New Year is when the Miao kill fattened pigs for the feast, and they also sample the newly produced rice wine. Stay in Kaili.
Thursday 10thth November – Day Three – on the second day of the Miao New Year, the local people make and eat sticky rice cake. We'll visit some other Black Miao villages and eat with families, and also have the chance to help families make the sticky rice cakes, which are believed to protect the family and their rice store during the year. Many families clean their houses on this day in preparation for the coming year. We are likely to see some performances of bamboo flutes, circle dancing and other events to commemorate the ending of the year. Take part in banquet. Stay in traditional Miao village.
Friday 11th November – Day Four – this is the day when the old year ends and the eve of the new year, so Miao people reserve this day for the worship of the gods – of the mountains, sacred rocks, special trees, the gate of the house, etc. To show their respect they decorate these objects with red paper, and make offerings to the spirits, even those of the pig's stye and the farming tools. We'll see some gatherings of people in lusheng grounds for singing, drumming and dancing. We may even see bullfights. And possibly a shaman warding away evil spirits and welcoming in prosperity, good health, harmony and longevity. Take part in banquet. Stay in old Miao village.
Saturday12th November – Day Five – the first day of the New Year, and we'll rise early with the Miao people to see them cooking the first meal of the year for their ancestors, before beginning the social aspects of visiting relatives and friends with offerings. It is also a day for sports events and singing contests – and courting rituals. In the afternoon, we'll farewell to the Black Miao and visit some other minority villages in the area, each with their own characteristics, before taking the scenic train journey back to Guiyang and then going to the airport for the late afternoon flight to Shenzhen, Air China CA4367 at 16.50, arriving 18.20.
This is the itinerary, subject to change.
Price: 3200 yuan pp (twin share or double)
Single supplement – 400 yuan
ex-Guiyang, 5 days/4 nights, English-speaking guide (Guizhou specialist) and a local Miao guide, transport (private bus/train/private van), accommodation (small hotel and family guesthouse), meals (local Chinese/Miao), drinks and snacks, entry fees, donations to host families.
Keith Lyons – Lijiang Guides www.lijiangtravel.info Phone 137 6900 1439 Email firstname.lastname@example.org