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Kuoshi Festival: A Joyful Celebration of Life


Crossbow shooting

Using the same custom as the Hans, they have a family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. If someone were in another place far from home, the family members will leave a seat for him and set a bowl and a pair of chopsticks on the table for them.

In some places, people are not allowed to go to other peoples’ homes, even if they are relatives living separately. This is relieved until the third day of the New Year. In most places, people gather on sunny ground or open areas starting on the first day of the New Year. They launch various kinds of recreational activities, such as singing in antiphonal style, dancing, swinging and crossbow shooting.

Dinking rice wine

Fugong county, part of the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, has one of the largest concentrations of Lisu people. Early in the morning on the first day of the festival, local Fugong county residents cross a bridge to a nearby river beach in traditional ethnic costumes. By daybreak, the beach is filled with revelers. The county stages a series of competitions and ceremonies for festival-goers, including bamboo-pole climbing and crossbow shooting.

In perhaps the most enchanting game of the festival, young couples bury themselves together in the beach sand. In this long-standing tradition among the Fugong people, couples first dig a pit in the sand and then friends place them into the pit and “bury” them. The ritual represents the couple’s love and devotion to each other, a wish for a long and healthy life and staying together even in death.

“Heart-to-heart” toasting

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