Other Festivals Related to Women-Part One
Every 4th day of the 2nd month is held the Girls' Festival of the Hani people who live in Yuanyang County, Yunnan Province. The festival owes its origins to a most tragic story: once there was a beautiful girl who fell in love with a handsome hunter. Unfortunately her parents insisted on marrying her off to the son of Tusi (the local governor). Later, the girl, together with three other girls who suffered the same fate, jumped off a cliff to their deaths.
This terrible legend is an illustration of women's determination to pursue their own hearts when it comes to love. During the festival young men borrow some beautiful clothes from the lady that they love. They disguise themselves as girls, and dance together with them, at the same time expressing their love and respect for the girls' loyalty. Married men carry water and firewood home and boil water for their wives to use when bathing. On this day, men shoulder all the responsibilities of doing housework, after which both men and women rejoice together.
The Butterfly Fair which is held beside the Erhai Lake in Dali, Yunnan Province, falls on the 15th day of the 4th lunar month every year and is the time when young men and women exchange sweet sentiments of love and passion. It is said that once Ah Hua, the deft seamstress gave her love, the brave hunter Ah Long, a colorful scarf embroidered with a hundred butterflies. When the king of Dali learned that Ah Hua was not only a beauty of beauties but was also clever and wise, he deceived her into becoming his concubine. On heating the news, the lovers fled, closely pursued by the king's guards. Trapped and with no hope of escape, the pair of passionate lovers threw themselves into the deep waters of the Butterfly Spring. Suddenly, a gale force wind, stinging rain, accompanied by enormous bursts of thunder and lighting were unleashed on the land and tens of thousands of butterflies poured out of the stream, forming the most dazzling and multicolored swirling, living ribbon on the branches of the trees above the waters of the stream. The Butterfly Fair beside the Erhai Lake is a commemoration of this wonderful tale of starcrossed lovers.