The Jingpo ethnic minority celebrates the Munao Zongge Festival, the grandest event of the Jingpo culture. It is also joined by some other ethnic groups that live in Dehong, the westernmost prefecture of Yunnan, and many tourists who are lucky enough to be traveling in Yunnan at the time of the festival.
It's an exciting event charged with the energy of vigorous dance, dizzyingly colorful costumes and joyful celebration of Jingpo culture and heritage.
In ancient times the Munao Zongge Festival was held before setting out for battle, when returning in victory or to celebrate good harvests.
Munao Zongge is usually translated as "dance in mass." The four-day festival is the biggest event of the year for the Jingpo people. It is an occasion when tens of thousands of people gather together to dance, celebrate and pray for prosperity and a good harvest.
The festival takes place in Longchuan County, the area inhabited by Jingpos in Dehong Prefecture. It takes place around the 15th day of the first month on the lunar calendar every year.
Munao Zongge has also been translated as “dance in paradise.” The Jingpo people are great lovers of dance, and the festival is a paradise of dance, driven by the irresistible pulse rhythms of the vital traditional music of the Jingpo people.
The Munao Zongge Festival is designed to highlight the folk culture, dress culture and food culture of the Jingpo people. In 2006 the event was added to the list of China’s national intangible cultural heritage.
At the festival, dancers gather together in formation to step in time to insistent folk music with powerful drum beats. The female dancers wear elaborate, brightly colored traditional costumes, with sparkling ornamentation that flies into motion when they dance.
The male dancers wield swords, spears or bows and arrows with great dexterity and mastery as they perform dances that demonstrate physical prowess and courage.
Taken as a whole, the festival presents a dazzling display of blinding color and kinetic energy, and a window into the beautiful soul of the Jingpo people.
Jingpo ethnic minority
Dehong in Yunnan Province
It starts from on the 15th day of the first lunar month