Hainan Island Local Cultures & Festivals
Hainan Island has a long history with many different nationalities immigrating to the island, which has resulted in a rich diverse island culture with many different nationalities represented. The mixing of different customs has come together to create a truly unique and unforgettable experience for anyone spending time on the island.
There are many special festivals in Hainan such as the Junpo Festival to pay respects to National Hero, Madam Xian; the Fucheng Flower Exchange Festival and the Sanyuesan Festival for the young people to find their loved ones; the Festival of Song Contest in Danzhou for people to express their joy for life. Hainan’s traditional operas include the Qiong Opera and Lin’gao puppet shows. These and many more provide a wide range of events that reflect on the rich cultural experience, and lets you enjoy the genuine friendliness of the people here on Hainan Island.
Like the rest of Chinese, local Hainan people celebrate major traditional Chinese festivals such as Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, and the Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Double Ninth Festival. Junpo for local Han People and Sanyuesan for local minority are the most important ones in Hainan Island.
Junpo Festival for Local Han Hainan People:
It is the biggest festival of local Han People after Chinese New Year to worship the national female hero called Madam Xian (513—603). Madam Xian was a politician and militarist who has been honored by the folks of Hainan for 1300 years. She conquered the local rebellions and actively promoted the communication of Hainan Island with mainland China. She has donated all her life to the development of local agricultural and economy.
The villagers have different days for Junpo Festival lasting from February till May based on Lunar Calendar. During these days, Hainan people dress up in military uniform and perform lion dances & singing. In some places, the local people will kowtow to the statures of their beloved folk national female hero and carry out the demonstration in every village. Some people come to worship in the temples with cooked chicken, meat, wine, incenses, and candles to pray for the new life. Of course, it is a big ban meal for all villages.
Sanyuesan Festival of Local Li & Minority People
The Sanyuesan Festival, also named March Third Festival is the traditional festival of the Li and Miao minorities in the Hainan Island which takes place on the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month of the year. This is the chance for the young girls and boys to get together for singing and dancing. Young people will look for their beloved by singing and dancing competition.
Preparation for the festival starts half a month in advance. Men go hunting and women cook dishes. Then they will gather near a big cave or a big square to enjoy Zongzi(glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves) and cakes, and gather from far and near in the front of the caves.
Bamboo Dance is a must during this festival by girls and boys in traditional clothes. Other games include wrestling, push-and-pull, shooting and swinging.