New Year Festival of the Lahu people

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Lahu people are celebrating the Lahukuzha Festival. (Photo from chinadaily.com.cn)

The main festivals of the Lahu people include the Lahukuzha Festival, Torch Festival, New Rice Festival, Duane Festival and others.

The Lahukuzha Festival is the New Year Festival of the Lahu people. It is divided into large year (Women's Festival) and small year (Men's Festival) and is the most ceremonious and important festival of the Lahu people. The Women's Festival spans four days, from the first to the fourth day of the lunar New Year and the Men's Festival lasts three days, beginning in the ninth day of the lunar New Year.

Before the festival, all the Lahus will cease their typical work and busy themselves by slaughtering pigs, brewing rice liquor, steaming New Year cake and otherwise preparing for the upcoming festival.

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Lahu people are celebrating the Lahukuzha Festival. (Photo from wyol.com.cn)

On the first day of the New Year, Lahus have a custom of "Scrambling for Fresh Water". On the morning of that day, every Lahu family tries to be the first one to get the fresh water of New Year with bamboo container. To the Lahu, fresh water symbolizes purity and happiness. He who gets the fresh water of the New Year is thought to have good luck throughout the year.

Central to the festival is a three-day songfest consisting of group singing and dancing to a reed-made pipe accompaniment. In a year of great harvest, this celebratory songfest can last as long as five days, from the first day to the fifth day of the lunar New Year.




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