Traditional Danu Festival of Yao People

Danu is a name from the Yao language meaning never forget. This festival comes on May 29th. It is believed that this day is the birthday of Zuniang, an ancestor of the Yao people. As a result, it is also name named Zuniang Festival. 

It is said that Zuniang was actually known as Miluotuo by the ancient Yao people. Once she asked her third daughter to go to the mountains to reclaim the land. Before her daughter left, she gave her a precious item---the bronze drum. The drum helped the young girl dispel birds and make a good harvest. The third daughter of Zuniang got married with a local Yao man and lived happily in the mountains. Their lives flourished and created more and more descendants, who were the early ancestors of today's Yao nationality. To commemorate Zuniang, the Yao people celebrated her birthday and named it Danu Festival. 

On this day, all the Yao people from different villages clean their houses and streets; they also make offerings of rice wines and sticky rice cakes to worship Zuniang. According to traditional customs, all families have to sacrifice some chickens and sheep. Young men and women wear special clothes and assemble at one place; they celebrate the birthday of Zuniang by hitting a big drum which symbolizes the bronze drum that Zuniang had given to her daughter. All of them worship Zuniang piously and pray to her for a good harvest every year as well as a happy and prosperous life to both man and livestock. While enjoying the performance of hitting the drum, all the people will try their best to propose a toast to the best drummer and deem him King of Drum. In addition, they will sing the traditional Miluotuo songs accompanied by dance and music as a tribute to Zuniang and what she had done for the Yao people.


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