Minority Groups’ Customs for Chinese New Year

Written by Matteo Updated Apr. 8, 2021

China is a multi-ethnic country, and different ethnic minority groups have different customs for the Chinese New Year. The following is a detailed introduction to some minority nationalities' typical ways to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Zhuang Ethnic Minority

The Zhuang ethnic group mainly lives in the provinces of Guangxi, Yunnan, Guangdong, Hunan, Guizhou, and Sichuan, of which Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has the largest population of Zhuang people.

The Spring Festival of the Zhuang nationality lasts three days, from the last day of the old lunar year until the 2nd day of the new lunar year, according to the local calendar.

Zhuang Peoples New Year

Interesting facts about New Year's Eve:

Yao Ethnic Minority

The Yao people mainly live in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the provinces of Hunan, Yunnan, Guangdong, and Guizhou in China.

Other entertainment full of Yao features: playing bronze drums, shooting crossbows, hunting, and throwing embroidered balls.

Miao Ethnic Minority

The Miao people inhabit a wide area of land in south-central China, but over half of the Miao in China reside in the rural and urban environments across the prefectures and counties of Guizhou.

Miao people call the general Spring Festival "Han New Year Festival" to differentiate it from the Miao New Year Festival. The tenth lunar month is the beginning of a new year, during which Miao people celebrate the Miao New Year Festival. However, the exact date varies each year and is only disclosed one or two months in advance. Regular updates can be found on our website as the festival approaches.

Miao customs include the festival parade - Miao girls and women in traditional Miao dress, the traditional music of the lusheng (a kind of musical instrument made of bamboo) - bullfights, horseracing, and, of course, lots of singing and dancing.

Tibetan Ethnic Minority

The Tibetan ethnic minority in China mainly lives in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Tibetan people celebrate New Year's Day by the Tibetan calendar, which is close to the Han calendar. Tibetan New Year generally comes within a few days after the regular lunar New Year and lasts about 3 to 5 days.

tibetan new year eve

During the Tibetan New Year, on a square or spacious grassland, people light bonfires, gather in a circle, and sing and dance to traditional music all night long.

Other activities: civil wrestling, tug of war, horse racing, and archery.

Mongolian Ethnic Minority

The Mongolian ethnic minority mostly lives in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Mongolians always advocate the color white, so the first lunar month is called "White Month", and thus Chinese New Year is called the "White Festival".

1. Mongolian people toast to elders and peers, present hada to each other, and offer New Year greetings.
2. All family members kowtow towards sunrise and throw sacrificial offerings on the bonefires, to pray for favorable weather for the crops in the new year.

During the whole festival, which usually lasts 15 days or even the whole lunar month, young Mongolians enjoy themselves through horse racing on the grasslands and having great bonfire parties at night.

Click here to Experience Minorities Journeys in China.

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