The Pumpkin Festival
Maonan Maonan Branch Museums
Maonan Nationality mainly live in Huanjiang area, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Maonan ethnic group has a population of about 108,000. Their national language belongs to the Dong-Shui branch, the Zhuang-Dong group of the Chinese-Tibetan language family. No script system is preserved. Maonan people are mainly engaged in agriculture. Traditional festivals: the Torch Festival, the Bird Flying Festival, the Temple Festival, the Pumpkin Festival, the Medicinal Herb Festival, the Moon Shooting, the Ghost Festival and etc. Traditional food: Maonan rice, the three Sours, corn mixture, sour garlic juice, bean curd and so on. Traditional songs and dances: Maonan opera, monkey drum dance, votive dance. Maonan people worship of polytheism and belief in Taoism and Buddhism. Maonan Museum: The museum is exact replica of traditional dwellings in Huanjiang area of Guangxi. The building components were made local by craftsmen according to the living customs and traditions of Maonan. The building materials were shipped to Beijing for final assembly. The museum was founded in 1999 and open to the public in September 2001. Maonan Museum consists of buildings on stilts with gray tiles and bricks, courtyard bank and Huanjiang style wood bridge. They constitute a mountain village environment. The crops are cultivated According to local climate. The museum covers a ground area of 1,180 square meters with a construction area of 449 square meters. The courtyard has ground area of 95.1 square meters. The indoor and outdoor display of Maonan Museum is live setting of traditional production and lifestyle of Maonan people. All the exhibits are collected from Huanjiang area in Guangxi. The time span of the collection dated from to the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911) to modern times, about two hundred years of history.
Maonan Ethnic Group: Festivals on Temple, Bird, Pumpkin
June 12, 2008 Editor: zhuhong Although there are only some 107,200 people, the Maonan ethnic group, which is mainly distributed in the mountainous areas of Northwest Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, South China, is well known for its long history and splendid culture. The local people speak the Maonan language, but they use Chinese characters because they do not have their own characters. Having lived with the Han and Zhuang ethnic groups for many years, the majority of them can speak the Chinese and Zhuang languages. The Maonan people are brave, enterprising, and have no fear of hardships. They send their children to school no matter how hard their life is, so they can have higher education and there are a large number of intellectuals among them. Sweet potatoes, beef cattle and colored bamboo hats are their three treasures. The ethnic group is known as the "hometown of beef cattle" as they have gone in for beef cattle husbandry for over 500 years. They are also skilled in craftworks such as bamboo weaving, stone carving and wood carving. The colored bamboo hat, a great favorite with young people, is the token of love between lovers as well as a good present for relatives and friends. Maonan people mainly engage in agriculture, growing mostly cereals and rice only in a few places, but are also involved in animal husbandry and other occupations. They eat food made of rice and corn in their three meals. The Maonan meal, which is a mixture of sticky corn power, bamboo shoot, other vegetables and condiments, is their staple food in the summer. Men and women love to wear big jackets in blue or bluish-green color. Women wear jackets with two lines of laces and loose pants with colorful edgings. They also wear jewelry such as bracelets, silver and jade. The local people's houses usually have two floors with bamboo roofs and wooden walls. They live on the upper floor while they use the ground floor for poultry and livestock. The local people love to sing very much. There are seven kinds of songs according to the content, such as children's songs and love songs. These songs have five kinds of melodies and most of them are duets. And they are simple in words and pleasant in rhythm. Maonan people call each other huaji, an expression of familiarity, when they meet others of similar age wherever they are. A story goes that in ancient times, the ancestors of the Maonan ethnic group hid in a mountain called huaji to avoid a disaster and opened up wasteland to make a living there. They experienced suffering and enjoyed happiness during the period, and they believed it was the mountain that protected them against disaster. So from then on, they have had the custom of calling each other huaji. The local people celebrate many distinctive festivals. The following three are the most interesting ones. The Temple Festival The Temple Festival is a traditional festival of the local people. Their main activity on that day is worshipping their ancestors. Every family cooks five-colored sticky rice and makes small rice balls. Then they stick the rice balls onto willow branches, praying for favorable weather and a good harvest. The cattle are fed sticky rice and steamed pork with rice flour for their hard work in the past year. Women and their children go to their mother's home to spend the festival with a basket filled with five-colored sticky rice and steamed pork with rice flour. Young people invite each other to go to the woods in the mountains to sing, looking for their sweethearts. The Bird Flying Festival The Bird Flying Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month, is the local people's most characteristic and interesting festival. When the Spring Festival comes, every family prepares calamus leaves and on New Year's Eve, they knit birds, such as partridges, swallows, cormorants, and thrushes. Then they place sticky rice, beans, and sesame in the hollow stomach of the birds. After the birds are steamed, they fasten them to a long sugar cane and hang them in front of burning incense. Each child receives a "bird" to satisfy a craving for delicious food. Women who are married and have babies return to their mothers' homes and pick up "birds," hoping that their babies are lovely and high-spirited. A legend says that there was a priest who had a beautiful and bright only daughter known for knitting birds with bamboo strips and calamus leaves. She fell in love with a young man and they planned to get married during the Spring Festival. Wanting to test his future son-in-law, the priest asked him to complete the task of spreading millet seeds on the farmland before dusk before their wedding day. However, the lad spread glutinous rice seeds in haste instead of millet seeds. The priest ordered him to collect all the seeds, which was a big problem. The priest's daughter told her fiancé to fetch the birds they had knitted. Then she blew to the birds and whispered to her fiancé. As soon as the lad took the birds to the farmland, the birds flew around and collected the glutinous rice seeds and he was able to complete task perfectly before dusk. The priest was very glad to see this, but he told his son-in-law, "I must spend the Spring Festival together with my daughter, so she will marry you on the 15th day of the first lunar month." From then on, the custom of flying birds has been popular. The Pumpkin Festival The Pumpkin Festival falls on the Double Ninth Festival—the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. Every family puts pumpkins of irregular shapes on the floor. Young people go from door to door and select a king pumpkin, which should be in good appearance and whose seeds can be seen from the surface. After getting a consistent opinion, a strong man splits the king pumpkin and then the owner removes the flesh and leaves the full seeds as seeds for the coming year. Then the man chops the pumpkin into small cubes and boils them in the pan with millet. The first bowl of porridge is reserved to worship the king pumpkin, and then others can enjoy it. (Source: chinaculture.org/Translated by womenofchina.cn)
毛南族的“南瓜节”，时在农历九月九日，即重阳节这天。各家把收获到家的形状各异，桔黄色的大南瓜摆满楼板，逐一挑选。年轻人走门串户，到各家评选“南瓜王”。不仅要看外观，而且要透过表面看到瓜籽。 待到众人意见基本一致，由一身强力壮者用砍刀劈开“南瓜王”，主人掏出瓜瓢，把饱满的籽留作来年的种子 。然后把瓜切成块，放进小米粥锅里。文火煨炖，煮得烂熟，先盛一碗供在香火堂前敬奉“南瓜王”，尔后众人共餐同享。 中国许多民族把重阳节视为老人节，有敬老的传统习俗。毛南族也不例外，只是风尚不同。对于年过花甲而又体弱多病的老人，毛南人一般在重阳节时为之“添粮补寿”。 子女们在这天置办几桌酒席于家中，请亲朋好友光临，来客都要带几斤细粮好米，或者新鲜水果。 亲友送来的“百家米”要单独贮存。日后在给老人做饭 时抓一些掺进自家米中。 “百家米”吃完了，老人若未康复，还得继续择日搞“添粮补寿”仪式。
1 Seyuan will hold its first All-Saint's Day Pumpkin Festival from Sept. 25 to Nov. 25, in which more than 30,000 artificial pumpkins will form a pumpkin kingdom.
2 There are four harvest festivals， Mid-Autumn Festival， Pumpkin Festival, Lusheng Day and Cultivating new land, which last 1–3 days.
3 Traditional festivals of the Maonan ethnic group mainly include the Torch Festival, the Bird Flying Festival, the Temple Festival, the Pumpkin Festival, the Medicinal Herb Festival, the Moon Shooting, the Ghost Festival and etc.