Floating river lanterns is an ancient traditional custom in China. It is used to mourn passing relatives and bless living people.
Tujia people are very cautious about the marriage if the bride and the groom have the same surname. If they have the same surname, they may be of the same blood. The marriage of the same blood is a big taboo in Tujia. Tujia girls will welcome their marriage day by crying. The bride usually starts to cry half a month previous to the wedding day; some even cry about one month. The shortest is about 3 or 5 days. Tujia people judge a girl’s intelligence and virtue by how well she can sing crying songs in the wedding.
Welcome the dragon is a holy worship to Miao people. In order to wish for their families’ prosperity, Miao people usually make a vow to the dragon and invite two senior masters to host the religious rites. They need to ask the hostess’s brother of that family to welcome the dragon for them. Owners have to welcome the hostess’s brother in the entrance to their village and send two bowls of liquor and red paper containing money as a gift.
The Tujia people like living in groups, and the houses of the Tujia, known as Diaojiaolou are very functional and similar to those of Miao. The house is made of wood, with tile roof, up-turned eaves, and balcony with carved wooden handrails. On the lower floor, there is livestock; while the girls’ bedrooms are kept upstairs.
The Tujia people called themselves “Bizika”, which means “Native dwellers”. Although their name suggests that they are natives, their exact origin is still uncertain.
Miao flower drum originated from Tang Dynasty, which creates its over one-thousand history. According to some maters, They learned to play flower drum when they were young. Colorful petals were put above the drum. They were not allowed to knock petals down in the process of playing the drum, which of course required excellent skill. Maybe this is why they call it flower drum later.
Generally, Fenghuang Miao martial art has a long history. Especially Chiyou boxing in Miao boxing originated from Chi-you era.
There exists high degree of autonomy in Fenghuang Miao people’s marriage. Singing in antiphonal style is the most representative way of expressing love between Miao men and women. Miao youth pay much attention to artistic talent and moral characters instead of property and family financial situation.
Tea-light opera is a small scaled musical opera in Fenghuang, originating from folk minor, folk songs of labor, lantern dance and many traditional tunes.
During this day, each Tujia ethnic family will prepare a big meal for family union. Firstly, they will cook dishes and worship their ancestor Tanhou. Tanhou was a leader popular with Tujia people. While he was disobey to the emperor of Ming Dynasty so that he was died for some political reasons. And the traditional custom in this festival is to sun clothes for memory this great Tujia minority figure.