Sisters' Meal Festival in Shidong Town, Miao Valentine' s Day
To celebrate this annual love-seek carnival, Miao young men will dress to impress and ladies dress to kill. A multitude of villagers from far-flung corners will swarm into Shidong Town, just like numerous colorful streams converge into a sea. The mountains, valleys, waterfronts and meadows of this town will be packed with excited faces, and a myriad of inviting festivities including Lusheng singing and dancing, boating, drum-beating, rooster fighting and bullfighting, will be hosted.
For Miao people, the most important part of this festival, however, is Sisters’ Meal, an eye-pleasing and appetizing delicacy made of glutinous rice. As the highlight of this festival, it holds the key to decode this love ritual’s riddle. For instance, one pair of chopsticks atop of the rice balls indicate “I love you”. Single chopstick means: “you are not my dream man”. Chillies, garlic and shallots read: “you are annoying”. Leaves and pine needles signify there is a glimpse of hope, and the young man should try harder to win the girl’s heart. Serving to reveal Miao girls’ true feelings in a most subtle way, this treat means a lot to these enthusiastic and restless young Miao bachelors.
Miao people will indulge in these pleasures day and night for 3 days. For outsiders, this local festival dedicated to love, promises endless fun. You can join the swirling dancing crowd to embark on an adventurous love-pursuing journey, or to mingle with the spellbound onlookers to observe the richly-clad and alluring Miao beauties and their eager suitors. Since food comes in great variety and is in endless supply, you can eat and drink to your heart’s content. With abundant photography opportunities, you will find yourself caught in a dilemma from time to time as to which scene to capture first.
To prepare Sisters’ Meal, Miao girls will gather fresh flowers, fruits and strawberries to extract red, green, yellow, black and white juices before dying the glutinous rice and molding into tiny balls. During this festival, each Miao family will prepare enough rice balls for their daughters, relatives and unexpected guests. Married women often avail this opportunity to visit their parents, bringing baskets of mouth-watering food.
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