The Qiang nationality originated from the ancient Qiang nationality, is an ancient nationality in Western China. The ancient Qiang nationality has a wide and far-reaching influence on the development of Chinese history and the formation of the Chinese nation. The national language is the Qiang language, belonging to the Qiang branch of the Tibeto Burmese language family of the Sino Tibetan language family, which is divided into northern and southern dialects.
Qiang people call themselves “Erma” or “Urban” and are known as “the nation on the clouds”. They are mainly distributed in Maoxian, Wenchuan, Lixian, Songpan, and Heishui counties of Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, and Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County of Mianyang City. The rest are scattered in Danba County of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, Pingwu County of Mianyang City, Jiangkou County, and Shiqian County of Tongren Prefecture, Guizhou Province. Most of the Qiang people live in a high mountain or mid-mountain areas, while a few live near the towns along the highway and live with Tibetan, Han, and Hui people.
Qiang people attach importance to Spring Festival. The Spring Festival, also known as “Celebrating the new year”, is an important day for the Qiang people to celebrate the Spring Festival. From the 23rd of the twelfth month of the lunar calendar, every household has to sweep away the dust, respect the stove, and prepare abundant new year’s goods. On New Year’s Eve, pig head meat should be burned to offer sacrifices to ancestors and gods. The whole family sat together to enjoy the reunion dinner and then sat around the fire pool to watch the new year. In general, the first day of junior high school does not work and does not leave people’s homes. After the second year of junior high school, we began to visit relatives and friends. The Lantern Festival is on the 15th of the first month, and the new year is on the 30th of the first month. Every family lights up and holds various recreational activities.
Besides, Qiang people have to celebrate Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid Autumn Festival, Double Ninth Festival, and other festivals, but the most distinctive ones are calendar year, mountain Festival and Lingge Festival.
Over the years, the Qiang language is called “RI Mei Ji”, that is, “auspicious and happy day”. It is also called “Guo Xiaonian”. It was originally a major festival for worshiping gods and ancestors and making vows to gods after harvesting grain in autumn. Every year on the first day of October in the lunar calendar, the time of celebration varies from three to five days. Some villages have to celebrate until the tenth day of the lunar new year. The main activities are praying to the gods and eating banquets. The Qiang nationality stopped for a time in the 1980s. It was restored in 1988 and became a common festival of the Qiang people. All kinds of celebrations are held every year in all parts of the Qiang district.
The festival is one of the most solemn traditional festivals of the Qiang people. It is also called the Zhuanshan meeting, Tazi meeting, heaven worship meeting, Mountain King meeting, mountain god meeting, or blockhouse meeting. It is an activity for Qiang people to offer sacrifices to Baishi God, which represents the gods of heaven, mountain, and so on. It is also a grand ceremony for people to pray for the prosperity of people and animals, abundant grain, local peace, and lush forest in the coming year. Due to different climates, the time and frequency of the event are not uniform. It can be held in January, April, and May, or once, two, or three times a year.
During the Lingge Festival, Qiang people call it “Waer foot”. It is mainly popular in the Qugu area of Maoxian county. It is held every year on the fifth day of the fifth month of the fifth lunar month (if there are women aged between 13 and 50 years old in the village, it will not be held in that year). It’s in memory of the goddess of song and dance, sister Sharon. The whole festival lasts for three days. The women showed their abilities and danced heartlessly, and the farming and housework were all run by men.
The Qiang people have a rich diet. The staple food is corn, potato, wheat, highland barley, supplemented by buckwheat, oil wheat, and a variety of beans, a variety of vegetables. The traditional diet includes stir dough, corn steaming, “gold wrapped in silver” or “silver wrapped in gold”, potato Ciba, boiled potato, and pork fat. They generally smoke orchid smoke, but also like to drink Za wine, “corn steamed wine” and Mead. Zajiu is a special drinking way popular in the Qiang nationality area.
Clothes & Accessories
There are some differences in Qiang costumes. Among them: Longxi, Maine, and Yanmen in Wenchuan County, Puxi in Lixian County, CHIBUSU, Heihu, Salong, and women in Maoxian County, the kingpin in Beichuan county and Zhenping in Songpan county are represented. Headdress, men’s and women’s bandages. “One tile” is popular among women in the CHIBUSU area. The tile-like green cloth is embroidered with patterns and decorated with silver plates and clasps. The women in Heihu Township were Baotou with white cloth (known as “Wannian filial piety”). Legend is in memory of the national hero General black tiger. Puxi women’s headdress is black, with a white cloth exposed at the front end, which is called a “magpie headdress”.
Both men and women wear cotton or brocade (used to be homemade cloth or linen) long shirts with loose right lapels, similar to cheongsam. Men’s clothes are over the knee, while women’s clothes are over the instep. The colors vary with age. The middle-aged and old people are mostly single blue and black, while the young girls like gorgeous colors. The collar, cuffs, and the front of the garment are decorated with flowers. The inclined front is inlaid with patterns one to three fingers wide. Some of them are inlaid with plum-shaped silver ornaments, all of which are hand-made.
The pattern is various and the color is gorgeous. It is a sheepskin coat without a collar, sleeve, and button. The long hair is exposed around the sheepskin coat. The hair is outward on sunny days and inward on rainy days. It can be used to protect against cold, rain, sit, pack and load.