Sisters Festival is an oriental Valentine’s Day from the Miao tribe. It is a large 3-day festival that celebrates at Taijiang county in Guizhou province every year during the 15th to 17th day of 3rd month in lunar calendar. This is a festival for the Miao lady. During the festival, the lady will eat the colourful Sisters Meal, which is glutinous rice that applied with natural colouring from wild flowers and fruits. What I saw during the festival is that they usually make yellow glutinous rice. Besides that, the Miao lady will dress up and march in parade with traditional costumes, dancing, and singing. There are fish catching competition and bull fighting as well.
The festival came from Shidong town in Taijing county. It has several versions about why they have this festival. The more common versions have two. The first one is that long time ago, there were beautiful ladies couldn’t get partners due to the high mountains that isolated them from the world. The villagers then decided to let the ladies to make glutinous rice and then invited the guys from far to gather there with kind of activities for them to build relationship. These activities like dancing, singing, and bull fighting are continued until now. The second one says that there was a pair of lovers that knew each other since childhood had rejected by their parents to get together. Therefore, they were dating secretly outside every night. Each time, the lady would bring a basket of glutinous rice that covered with needlework for her lover. Over time, they finally married together. The glutinous rice that hid inside the basket was then called Sisters Meal and it then had the Sisters Festival.
During Sisters Festival, the young ladies dress up with traditional silver costumes and then at night, they will sing and find their lovers. Nowadays, the festival has evolved away from its original meaning to get lovers. It mainly lets the ladies to dress up with traditional silver costumes and accessories, and then march in parade to the square to dance for fun. In Taijiang county, it even has beauty pageant and large performance show. However, some of the remote villages are still practicing old traditions like finding lover at night.
- 台江县城 – 虽然节目丰富但不推荐，因为人满为患、交通阻塞、房费飙升。如果要在县城看姊妹节，只有提前两天到达，不然就算提前一天也要塞个半死（这是个人经验）。
- 施洞镇 – 虽然只有刺绣展览，但镇上有条件不错的酒店，也有农家乐。因靠近老屯和偏寨，所以去这两个村寨也方便。
- 老屯村- 属于施洞镇管辖，施洞姊妹节的第一天就在老屯举行，但没有酒店和农家乐。
- 偏寨村- 属于施洞镇管辖，施洞姊妹节的第二天就在偏寨举行，比老屯更为隆重热闹。村里有几家农家乐，但没有酒店。
Where to see the activities of Sisters Festivals?
- Taijiang county town – Although it has a lot of activities but not recommended because it’s too crowded, traffic congestion, and price hike in accommodation. If you want to see those activities at the county town, you will have to arrive there 2 days in advance, else you will stuck in extremely bad traffic one whole day even you arrive a day earlier (This is my personal experience).
- Shidong town – Although it only holds embroidery exhibition, but it has hotels and local homestay. Also, it’s nearby Laotun and Pianzhai, so it’s very convenient to go to both villages.
- Laotun village – Part of Shidong town, 1st day of the Shidong’s Sisters Festival holds here, but no hotel and homestay.
- Pianzhai village – Part of Shidong town, 2nd day of the Shidong’s Sisters Festival holds here, more crowded than Laotun. It has several local homestay but no hotel.
县城 – 斗牛、斗鸡、斗狗、斗鸟比赛，刺绣比赛，武术比赛，苗歌对唱，文艺晚会，篝火晚会，服饰展，书画展，摄影展
施洞（包括老屯和偏寨） – 捉鱼比赛，刺绣和其它民族艺术品展览，迎宾礼（即游行），踩鼓跳舞，苗歌比赛，游方
What activities does it have for Sisters Festival?
Sisters Festival mainly celebrates at Taijiang County in Guizhou province， which are the Taijiang county town and Shidong town. Both places have different activity programs. The activities at county town are more commercialized and the activities at Shidong are more traditional due to its geographical location surrounded by mountains that causing it hard to be accessed. However, the hilly road from Kaili and Taijiang to Shidong has already paved recently and therefore, those traditional activities are not guaranteed to have anymore after two more years (you know what I mean).
County town – Bull fighting, cock fighting, dog fighting, bird fighting, embroidery competition, martial art competition, singing competition, gala performance, campfire dancing, fashion show, art exhibition, photography exhibition
Shidong （includes Laotun and Pianzhai) – Fish catching competition, embroidery and other traditional art exhibition, parade in traditional costumes, dancing with traditional drum music, singing competition, finding lovers at night
Transportation and other information:
Land transport is the only way to reach Taijiang county town and Shidong. For details, please refer to the next posts about Shidong and Dragon Boat Festival of Miao Tribe.