The Miao people of Liuzhi in Guizhou province, celebrate their history and heritage during this day-long festival. The people dress in traditional costume and come together in the town for a local government ceremony and to watch the buffalo fights and performances of classical Lusheng folk dancing and Miao music.
The lantern festival is a popular celebration which takes place over one night throughout China. Children take elaborate, vividly-colored - usually red - lanterns to the temple. The lanterns are embellished with riddles the children try to solve. The releasing of the lanterns symbolizes letting go of the past, and being ready for renewal.
The Naxi people celebrate this one-day festival every year to honor the jade dragon snow mountain hero who protects the Lijiang area. They visit the Sanduo statue in the temple and make ceremonial animal sacrifices. The families of the community cook and share food, while playing games set to music and dancing.
The day before Chinese New Year, people clean their houses to clear away bad luck and welcome good luck. Homes are decorated, new clothes are bought and families hold a reunion dinner comprised of fish and dumplings to symbolize wealth. Many people visit the temple at midnight to light incense and pray for a prosperous new year.
This seven-day holiday is one of the most important in the Chinese calendar and is referred to as Golden Week. There are noisy celebrations with fireworks, family reunions where older relatives give youngsters red envelopes with cash, and lion dance performances. Most businesses reopen on the sixth day with spring dinners for employees.