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It's a traditional custom for people from Longji Ancient Zhuang Village of Longsheng Ge Autonomous County to hold the Plowing Festival on May 2nd each year, during which time the villagers start to irrigate their rice fields on the mountains. It is also the best time for visitors to appreciate the amazing beauty of the Longji Terraced Fields.
The Plowing Festival is considered to be the most important festival for the people living in Longsheng, when a number of rich and colorful activities are held according to traditional practices, including the Irrigating Field Ceremony, large-scale plowing in the terraced fields, catching fish in the terraced fields, watching dragon lanterns and the large-scale bonfire party.
The local villagers welcome visitors from near and far by beating drums and gongs, playing suona horns and performing lion dancing and dragon dancing at the viewing platform from 10:00am to 10:30am during the festival. The beautiful girls offer their homemade rice wine to visitors and sing in turns to express their best wishes.
As the mysterious music starts, the oldest man of the village offers incense to the God of Earth from 10:30am to 11:00am during the festival to pray for seasonable weather for a bumper rice harvest in the following year. He leads a strong bull with red flowers on its head to the field, and the villagers vie with each other in smudging soil from their own fields onto the bull to pray for a good harvest.
Eventually, the oldest man opens the sluice to irrigate the rice fields, and all of the villagers sing an ancient song to express their simple wish of a good harvest, which is accompanied by the beating of drums and gongs resounding across the mountains.
With the sound of squibbing firecrackers, the villagers become busy with their farm work from 11:00am to 11:30am in the field, including bull plowing, digging soil and plucking weeds, which affords a magnificent spectacle to visitors from afar, and it seems as if the villagers are back to the times of slash and burn cultivation.
It is a custom for the locals to keep carps in the rice terraced fields, and the villagers and visitors participate in a competition to catch fish in the fields from 2:00pm to 2:30pm, adding much luster to the festival. After catching the fish, the villagers are then busy catching a duck in the fields from 2:30pm to 3:00pm, and whoever catches it will own it as a prize.
It is also a custom for the villagers to compete for being the strongest man by climbing the mountain from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, and the one who reaches the top of the mountain first will be awarded a bottle of good rice wine. This competition attracts thousands of villagers and visitors to participate.
As night falls, the villagers light torches on the top of undulating mountains at 7:00pm, which shine over all of the mountains and the village. They also have fireworks displays to express their best wishes for the coming year.
The large-scale singing and dancing performance is held at 8:30pm, when all the villagers wear their best costumes to sing and dance with foreign visitors until the performance ends at midnight.
For visitors who are interested in the Longji ethnic minority culture, you are also highly recommended to visit the other villages near Longji Ancient Zhuang Village, and China Highlights can offer the best itinerary for you due to our professional design of Guilin tours and China tours. Contact us and let us help you! Most visitors also visit Yangshuo and the Crown Rock as well as taking a Li River Cruise during their Guilin trip.
Food: during your stay in Longji Ancient Zhuang Village, you are advised to eat in the local restaurants or the locals' homes.
The hotels are mainly around Ping'an Village and Dazhai Village, most of which are local stilted buildings, with a limited hot water supply. Only some of the rooms have washrooms, but you can really experience local life if you stay in a guesthouse.
Address: Longji Ancient Zhuang Village, Longsheng County, Guilin
Transportation: a sightseeing bus available at Guilin Bus Station can take you directly there.