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Yekuza Festival of Aini Ethnic People

Yekuza is a traditional festival spent by Aini people, a branch of Hani Minority in Xishuangbanna Prefecture. It’s held on the first Buffalo Day of lunar June and lasts for three to five days. During the festival, any farm work will be halted and people will pay calls to each other, gathering to celebrate the festival. Major programmes involved are horse racing, wheeling spinner, singing and dancing etc. 

Legend goes that before a pest plague broke out in the farmlands of Aini people. Lots of sacrifices were offered to gods in vain. The crops were being eaten up by pests. One old man named Ah Pei Ming Ye suddenly caught three pests from the lands and wrapped them in leaves that were then stuck beside lands, at road crossing and entrance to village to let people curse on them. In surprise, all the pests were gone and the rice crops grew vigorously to offer people a bumper harvest that year. Ainis there did the same thing Ah Pei Ming Ye did whenever any pest disaster broke out on the crops. After A Pei Ming Ye passed away, his son butchered chickens to make sacrifice to him each year when the farm works were finished. Through hundreds of years, the sacrificial ceremony evolved into a grand festival for Aini people. According to Hani’s name-linkage system, people adopted the first word of the son’s name and the last of the father’s to denominate the festival: Yekuza.  

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