With a spread which runs for more than 100 tables long, the Long Street Banquet, hosted by the villagers in Yuanyang in China’s Southern Yunnan province, is certainly the correct title for this remarkable event. The Long Street Banquet is held annually in Yunnan and is the major part of the Angmatu Festival, which signals the beginning of the New Year for the local Hani people, a minority group native to Yunnan and is similar in significance to the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year which is celebrated by most other Chinese minority groups including the Han, the largest ethnic group in China.
On the first day of the Angmatu Festival, the Hani will share a holy sacrifice of an animal to pray for peace and harvest of the village next year. This usually followed by the banquet which takes place on the second day. During the banquet, each family in the village will prepare a meal per table. It is considered a great honor to the family hosting the table if you sit down to enjoy their food and beverage. The men are always sat at the head of the tables while the women are sat at the foot of the tables. The tables are placed end to end with no gap permitted between them, stretching over hundreds of metres in length with the first table called the ‘dragon head’ while the last table is called the ‘dragon tail’. The people attending the banquet are able to savour the tastes of hundreds of different foods and flavours during this prestigious time in the Hani calendar.
Usually there will be a big party after the banquet in the central village. Hani people will sing and dance for the whole night. And it welcomes all the visitors to take part in as well.
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