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Yunnan’s Jingpo people celebrate music pageant

The Mu’nao Festival of Jingpo People has kicked off in Mang city of De’hong prefecture, in west Yunnan province. The celebration, which is also called ‘Mu’nao’zong’ge Festival’, meaning in Jingpo language ‘to sing and dance together’ and is the most important music pageant for the ethnic group.

The Munao Festival starts on the fifteenth day of the first Chinese lunar month. This year, it falls on March the 5th.

At ten o’clock in the morning, as music fills the festive air, Jingpo people -- in traditional costumes of black jackets with silver decorations -- march up to the venue, with knives and handkerchiefs in tow. The Munao Festival is the most important song-and-dance pageants for the ethnic group and it’s celebrated to usher holy gods and exorcise evil spirits.

The Jingpo form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized in the country, and number some 150,000 people. During the Munao Festival, people sing and dance to express their best wishes and pray for a good harvest.

These four huge pillars are iconic buildings for the Jingpo people who, in celebration, dance on a strict route around them. It symbolizes the migrant route of their ancestors, who moved from the Tibetan plateau to western Yunnan province.