Munao Zongge Festival of Jingpo Ethnic Group
Munao Zongge (literally means mass dance in Jingpo language) Dance Festival, dubbed “dance of paradise” and “mass revelry dance,” is the grandest traditional festival of the Jingpo ethnic group. During the festival, tens of thousands of Jingpos dance following the same capper beat. The ethnic carnival in West China, with its large scale and stirring scene, might be the most spectacular mass dance in the world. It falls on the fifteenth day of the first month in Chinese lunar calendar. On the day, every Jingpo village will hold such mass performance.
The four leading dancers, called “naoshuangs”, are all wizards. They wear crest-like cap, imperial robe made of red and green silk cloth, silver-colored cloak, and hold a long knife in hand. “Naoshuangs” stand in two columns. The two in the front of the dancing array are called military pair, while the two persons at the end of the array are called civil pair. Amid the boisterous sound of drums and gongs, people enter the ground with the same tempo. Following the leading dancers, the dancing array stands in two columns either.
“Naoshuangs” hold long knives and lead the way in certain patterns. Men behind them take long knives, while women take fans of handkerchiefs. Under the guidance of “naoshuang”, people follow the drumbeat to dance around Munao Shidong, the sacred tower. Usually, the dance ground is spacious enough to hold tens of thousands of people. There is no limit on the dancing time. (Source: Tourism Bureau of Dehong Prefecture)