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New Rice Festival of Wa People, Yunnan, China

September 28, 2023

Every rice-eating people in the world has a special occasion to celebrate rice harvest. For Wa people living in Cangyuan and Ximeng, it’s called New Rice Festival (Xinmijie), usually held in late September or early October, when people will prepare a large banquet to sample newly-harvested rice and enjoy themselves with all kinds of folk entertainment. The celebrations culminate in ritual of Ushering the Soul of Rice, where Wa people respectfully bring an ear of rice into their houses to show their gratitude for the generosity of Mother Nature and remind themselves of the value of hard work.

photo and cover photo credit by 刘冉阳(云南分社/中新社/视觉中国