Spring Ploughing Festival in Longsheng, Guilin

2015-04-03Life in Guilin

It is generally known that China is a large agricultural country, though numerous peasants flood into cities to seek jobs these years, people in Longsheng County of Guilin hold fast to the land and still pay much attention to agriculture. Every year the Spring Ploughing Festival is held in Dragon's Backbone (literally Longji) Rice Terraces Scenic Area of Longsheng, attracting visitors from around the world. 

More info about Longsheng

Longji Rice Terraces in China

The Spring Ploughing Festival falls on April 19 this year. If you are lucky you will enjoy the spectacular activities on your Guilin tour. To offer you more information about this unique festival to be held in Zhuang Ethnic Village of Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces Scenic Area, I’d like to introduce the detailed activity flow hereinafter.

1. Playing the suona horns, gongs and drums, and performing dragon & lion dances to welcome visitors
Time: 10:00-10:30
Place: Beside the Youlong Xiajiang Viewing Spot
Details: Females in the village sing songs gaily and propose toasts to the visitors from afar.

2. Sacrifice to the fields
Time: 10:30-11:00
Place: Beside the new viewing spot
Details: Play the horns, drums, and pray for harvest of the year.

3. Large ploughing show in terraced fields
Time: 11:00-12:30
Place: Terraces around the new viewing spot
Details: After setting off firecrackers six times, all villagers are busy at farm works on the terraces, including ploughing, cultivating, making field ridges, weeding, etc.

4. “Grabbing” chickens by thousands of people on the terraces
Time: 14:00-14:30
Place: Terraces below the new viewing spot
Details: After a firecracker the flocks of chickens that foraging on the field ridges are startled to fly around, then visitors and villagers throng to the terraces to catch the chickens, which will belong to the people who catch them successfully.

5. “Grabbing” ducks on the terraces
Time: 14:30-15:00
Place: Terraces below the new viewing spot
Details: On the terraces after drawing off water, visitors and villagers swarm to “grab” the ducks just as they did in the last activity.

6. Climbing the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces
Time: 15:00-17:00
Place: Terraces below the new viewing spot
Details: Hundreds of men rush to the top of the terrace after a firecracker, with deafening drums and cheers. It will be an honor to whom won the competition.

7. Walking on the terraces with thousands of torches
Time: 19:00-21:00
Place: On the new viewing spot and along roads of the scenic area
Details: Torches are lit as darkness fall, and people carry the flaming torches walking on the field ridges or roads to form a huge fire ball. As fireworks bursting simultaneously in midair, the fire ball gradually becomes a figure of “Three Fish with One Head”, which is the unique totem of Zhuang people in Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces Scenic Area.

8. Large Ecological Bonfire Party
Time: 20:30-22:00
Place: Dance field of the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces Scenic Area
Details: Enthusiastic and hospitable villagers in holiday array dance with visitors. All people are immersed in the sea of songs and dances.

The festival is coming to an end eventually, but never will be the happiness of the people living in the land. After the Spring Ploughing Festival the Longji rice terraces will be entirely watered, indicating the beginning of its most beautiful time of a year.

--By Sophy (VisitOurChina)