Qiang New Year festival UNESCO Marks

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ICH Domain Social practices, rituals, festive events, Urgent Safeguarding List
Name of UNESCO List Urgent Safeguarding List
Type of UNESCO List
Incribed year in UNESCO List
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Local Name Ermaji
Location (Address) The Qiang are mainly distributed in the upper Minjiang River in Northwestern China. Their main settlements are comprised within the scope of east longitude 102º 51' to 104º 27', and north latitude 30º 45' to 32º 40'. Wenchuan, Li, Mao, Songpan, Beichuan and Pingwu Counties, as well as the villages where Qiang communities live are the main region where the Qiang New Year Festival is held.
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Name of National List National List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
Management Organization of National List Intangible Cultural Heritage Department of the Ministry of Culture of China
Summary The Qiang New Year festival occurs on the first day of the tenth lunar month. It is the most important traditional festival of the Qiang people. It is a celebration of thanksgiving to the god of heaven for his benevolence and of prayer for a fertile land, a prosperous population and a harmonious world. It is a cultural ritual whereby the Qiang people seek to protect nature and humans’ living environment, as well as promote social and family harmony. The celebration comprises three parts: sacrifice to the mountain, community rejoicing and sacrifices held in the family.  The sacrifice to the mountain is presided over by the priest shibi; it includes sheepskin-drum dancing and prayers for favorable weather. In the community rejoicing the villagers are dressed in their traditional costumes, sing and dance with great excitement and drink ‘sipped’ wine (zajiu) so as to express happiness over an abundant harvest and their sincere piety towards the gods. Finally, the heads of families preside over family worships during which sacrifices are made to the family gods and offering in sign of gratitude are presented to the god of fire. All the family gathers in a drinking party.
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