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Celebrating tradition: The enchanting Mute Festival of Qixuan village

Updated: 2023-09-07 15:53 ( chinadaily.com.cn )
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Qixuan village, a remote Yi village nestled deep in the eastern mountains of Xiangyun county, Yunnan province, hosts an extraordinary "Mute Festival" every year on the eighth day of the Chinese Lunar new year. This event pays homage to their ancestors and seeks blessings for a prosperous year ahead.

This age-old tradition has persisted for centuries, rooted in local customs and a poignant legend of a mute woman who saved the village from drought and starvation through her sacrifice. Over time, the festival evolved from a simple ancestral ritual into a well-organized celebration.

During the festival, visitors can't help but notice the meticulous preparations undertaken by the villagers. Despite enduring a three-year epidemic, their commitment to a joyful life and the preservation of tradition remains unwavering. They diligently arrange food, drinks, decorations, and gifts, adhering to age-old practices.

I embarked on my journey before dawn, enduring a three-hour, rugged ride to reach the village in early spring. Despite the chilly mountain winds, both enthusiastic villagers and visitors thrived. I wasted no time deploying my drones to capture the vibrant scenes before me. I documented the Mute performers and followed the lively parade of musicians, actors, and Flamen. When the "Mute" parade reached the square, the captivating mute dance began. With a diverse range of dance forms, the performance was raw, natural, and free-spirited.

One of the most captivating moments was when the lead dancer, the Great Mute, initiated their dance, and the entire village synchronized their movements. This unified rhythm mirrored the heartbeat of the land and its cherished traditions. Witnessing this unique celebration was a remarkable experience that liberated me from the monotony of everyday life, revealing the timeless beauty of traditional culture in our ever-changing world.

Zhang Chengle contributed to the story.