Wooden Drum Worship

The Wooden Drum Worship we witnessed was in a village named Qingjiang. It is said ancestors rest after rice seedlings are planted till harvest in October. The only sound that can wake the up ancestors is the wooden drum. Today, the sacred drum is worshiped with offerings of fish, pig’s head, egg, and rice. The drum is carried to village square in the afternoon, participants in festive dress are coming from neighboring villages to dance around the drum, while invisible ancestors are believed to enjoy the entertainment with the visible world.

Wooden Drum Worship - Qingjiang, China


Miao people consider a bull as a symbol of health, power, hard work and bravery, and the Bullfighting Festival epitomizes their fondness for bulls. The holding of bullfighting festival is not for fun, but to worship, show their love to buffalos, and present the inborn characteristics by letting the buffalos fight. There are two kinds of fighting bulls. One is farm cattle which usually goes farming and only fights in Bullfighting Festival; the others are “expert” buffalos that do not go to a farm but are trained to fight.

Bullfight, China

Common rules for bullfighting amongst the Miao include 6-minute matches. If the bulls are still fighting to a draw the bulls are separated and both declared winners. If at anytime one bull breaks off the fight and seeks to escape the match is ended and the dominant bull is declared the winner. Before each match the bulls are weighed and categorized so as to only fight other bulls in its category. Their horns are sanded and the fight begins when the bulls are released.

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.

Anthony Bourdain

Miao Double Ninth (Chongyangjie) Festival

The Double Ninth Festival is observed on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar, is a traditional Chinese holiday, mentioned in writing since before the Eastern Han period (before AD 25).

We arrived at the parking lot for the festival and took a short cut over the river to the venue. Food stalls were set up and a bullfight was in progress. The weather was scorching hot and the crowds were building. We took a short respite at a local government office and police station that had their air conditioner running.