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Introduction & Highlights

The Clothing Competition Festival is an event that fully shows the wisdom and hard work of the Yi people, and it is also a spectacle of love and beauty.

The Yongren Zhiju Yi People Clothing Competition Festival has lasted more than 1,350 years and is known as "the source of costume competition, the root of Yi embroidery.”

 The Festival is a day for competition of clothing and dresses. It is a festival for Yi people to fully display their intelligence, wisdom and remarkable works.

  The Clothing Competition Festival, full of the long history and rich culture of the Yi nationality, originates from ancient rituals and handover celebrations between "gang heads."

With the passage of historical changes, it has gone through more than 600 years, according to written literal records.

Since the operation of the ancient road connecting Shiyang Salt Well to Sichuan, and along with the integration of Sichuan culture and Yi culture, Zhiju became an important relay station. Now, many more new elements have been added to traditional rites, including sacrificial offering, horse caravan, marriage , ancient salt road, clothing, singing, dancing, music and so on.

They all combine to form a unique Yi cultural festival covering a song-battle, dance-battle, fashion show, ethnic sport and market as a whole festival.

 In the competition, you will catch an eyeful of colours and bright clothing. Yi women not only create embroideries on hats, clothes, aprons, but also on bags, shoes and insoles.

These works, from a variety of hand workers, differ in process, composition and colours. Everything can be featured in the embroidery patterns, such as wind, rain, lightning, the sun, moon, stars, mountains, water, trees, stones, flowers, birds and human figures.

Composition can be simple or complex, with images in exaggeration or deformation, and contrasting tones. All providing wonders to behold.

 You can see people of all ages at the clothing competition, from young children just capable of walking to grandmothers in their 80s. Everyone dances freely to display the beauty of their dresses and clothing.

With thousands of contestants and tens of thousands of bystanders, it is a large-scale and lively festival.

The distinctive Yi ethnic costumes are mostly dominated by red. They wear a "rooster hat" on their heads, and their entire outfit, including clothes, pants, shoes, and hats, is adorned with red, green leaves, blue skies, and white clouds. The embroidery is delicate, every stitch and thread are intricately woven together. When you look around, it feels like being in a world of flowers, a floral ocean.

This year's China·Yongren 2023 Zhiju Yi Ethnic Costume Festival, with the theme "Dreaming Back a Thousand Years, Embracing Fashion," was held from February 4th to February 6th, 2023, in Yongren County, Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. People participating in this grand event turned the fields into stages, the mountains into grandstands, and the sky as the backdrop. Following the footsteps of the millennium-old costume tradition, they ascended the "world's oldest rural catwalk," savoring the passionate ethnic culture of the "origin of costume" and experiencing the splendid attire of the "root of Yi embroidery."

With historical heritage of thousands of years, this year's Clothing Competition Festival presented the world with more wonderful and richer content and stronger cultural confidence, in order to let people fully enjoy Yi embroideries with the beauty of Yi culture, and to let the voice of the Yi people be heard by the world.

Notes:Pictures from Internet and CCTV017 Screen Shot.

Ethnic Minorities

Yi People


Yongren County, Chuxiong City, Yunnan Province

Holding Time

Every year on the 15th day of the first lunar month.