Top 10 China tours 2024/2025 for first visits and returns: embark on a lifetime experience. Learn more
 The Miao Ethnicity New Year Festival

The Miao Ethnicity New Year Festival

Written by Kelly PangUpdated Dec. 28, 2022

The most celebrated festival of the Miao ethnic group, the Miao New Year, was added to China's non-material cultural heritage list on June 7th, 2008.

Wuwacun Miao people are celebrating the Miao New Year Festival.

When It's Celebrated

Miao New Year is celebrated at different times of year in different regions, usually in the period from the ninth to the eleventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar, and usually lasting 5 to 15 days. Most Miao people celebrate New Year in the 10th month of the lunar calendar, after the rice harvest.

Miao New Year Activities


Each household prepares abundant provisions before Miao New Year, including pork, mutton, beef and rice wine. Of these, glutinous rice wine is probably the most important. People worship their ancestors by offering various kinds of fruit, and send gifts to one another.

Worshiping Ancestors

Worshiping ancestors has been an indispensable Miao custom ever since ancient times. It is mainly attended to by elders of the villages, and they offer fresh fruit and meat to their ancestors to express respect and remembrance.

Lusheng Playing

Lusheng (a musical instrument made from bamboo) performances are often held in the 'Lusheng Hall', first by a little boy, followed by other players together. Young girls and boys wearing new and magnificent Miao costumes, bedecked in silver ornamentation, dance to the music. Miao girls entertain guests from afar with homemade rice wine.

Miao  new year festival, Guizhou

Visitors are recommended to partake of the rice wine to help enjoy the festival to the full.

Visiting the Neighboring Villages

It's an important tradition for Miao people from a given village to visit neighboring villages during Miao New Year. This can strengthen understanding, friendship, and cooperation between different villages.

All the people from one village wear a festive costumes to visit a neighboring village while beating drums and gongs and playing the lusheng. They serenade the host (usually the village head) of the neighboring village by playing three pieces of music before entering the village, and then the host and his fellow villagers welcome their guests by playing the lusheng in return.

After greeting each other, people from the two villages convene a party through the night, when a lusheng-playing competition is held to entertain the guests. It's an ideal chance for the young to seek their life-long partners.

Bull, Horse, and Cock Fighting

Bull fighting, horse fighting, and cock fighting are also convened during the festival. Bullfighting is considered one of the major traditional events of Miao New Year, attracting thousands of people.

The Development of the Miao New Year Festival

Initially, the Miao New Year Festival was only celebrated among the Miao in Kaili, Majiang, Leishan, Danzhai, and Huangping of Guizhou Province; followed by the Miao in Du'an, Bama, Dahua, Pingguo and Long'an of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Now it's widely celebrated among all Miao.

Witness Miao New Year for yourself; it’s a great time to visit the Miao areas. China Highlights can create a private tour for you based on your requirements.

We are here to help you...
start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create Your Trip

Sign up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to receive exciting updates, exclusive promotions, and valuable travel tips from our team of experts.

The China Highlights Experience

1-to-1 Expert Planning

1-to-1 Expert Planning

Your tour will be tailor-made by your personal travel advisor — a destination expert. Every reply will be within 24 hours.

Personal Journeys

Personal Journeys

Enjoy your personal local guide and ride. Explore destinations at your own pace. Have unparalleled flexibility, which is impossible on a group tour.

Authentic Experiences

Authentic Experiences

Discover the hidden gems. Experience local culture by practicing it. Try new and exciting activities, and unveil the stories behind the sights and people.

Well-Selected Local Guides

Well-Selected Local Guides

Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and attentive — your personal local guides will share interesting stories, insider information, and even create unexpected highlights!

China Highlights tailor-makes China tours to help travelers discover China their way. We're a passionate team of one hundred avid travelers who love to share our knowledge of China with those looking for a more authentic travel experience, more ...
China Highlights International Travel Service Co., LTD
Corporate Number: 914503003486045699
Featured on