Home Chinese Festivals Kaili Festivals Sisters' Meals Festival — Oldest Asian Valentine's Day

Sisters' Meals Festival — Oldest Asian Valentine's Day

  • Celebrated: May. 3 to May. 5
  • Location: Kaili
wuwacun The Miao people are celebrating the Sisters' Meals festival.

The Sisters' Meals festival is celebrated by the Miao ethnic people in southwestern China's Guizhou province, especially in the Taijiang and Jianhe counties along the banks of the Qingshui River. It is regarded as the oldest Asian Valentine's Day.  See China Highlights' Sisters' Meal Festival Tour.

A few days before the Festival, Miao girls collect special wild flowers and leaves in the mountains to produce natural color to dye the glutinous rice, known as "sisters' rice". At festival time, the Miao girls, all dressed up in their holiday best with startling silver headdresses, crowns, and neck rinks gather together by the river banks to prepare their "sisters' rice". The rice is dyed blue, pink, yellow, and white to represent spring, summer, autumn and winter respectively.

When the young men arrive they begin to single out the women they hope to marry someday and begin to sing for them. The young women respond to their songs by giving them a drink of rice wine and the sisters' rice wrapped in handkerchiefs with different symbols on them.

A pair of red chopsticks means "I love you too"; one chopstick means, "no, thank you"; a garlic or red chili indicates a flat refusal; and pine needles indicate that the boy should present silks and colorful threads and that she will wait for him. There are also many other activities, including bullfighting, horse racing, traditional Miao performances and Lusheng music. View China's famous ethnic festivals.