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  Maluo Festival: Homage to the Frog

Editor:Shelton   Organization:Go China Adventure International Travel Service Co. Ltd   Edited Date:2009-7-14  Visitors:4223   

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Maluo Festival: Homage to the Frog

During the Maluo Festival, which falls in January of the lunar calendar, the Zhuang in the Bama region on the banks of the Hongshui River in western Guangxi  beat bronze drums and sing ancient songs praising the Maluo (Frog).
Legend says the daughter of the Thunder God was Goddess Maluo, who was in charge of precipitation. One day, a Zhuang youth called Donglin, who was mourning his mothers death, found the croaking of the frogs outside his house very annoying. Angrily, he poured boiling water onto them. The frogs stopped croaking, but so stopped the rainfalla disastrous drought befell mankind. The young man was petrified and sought advice from the God Buluotuo and Goddess Muluojia, who advised him to beg the Frog Goddess for mercy. Donglin beat a bronze drum on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar, inviting the Frog Goddess to return for the New Year. Then, he invited more than a thousand people to attend a burial ceremony for the dead frogs. Seeing his repentance, the Frog Goddess came back and the weather again turned favorable.
In the early hours on the morning of the lunar New Years Day, the one who first finds a frog is a lucky person and considered to be the son-in-law of the Thunder God. He is then made the leader of the Maluo Festival celebrations of the year. Then the frog is taken back to the village and put it in a flowery sedan. Every day throughout January, the children will parade the sedan around the village and offer congratulations to every family. In evening, all the villagers gather to beat drums, dance the Maluo dance and sing the Maluo songs, indicating that they are standing at the bier.
The Maluo Festival will reach its peak on the 26th when the frog is buried. Before the burial, they open the coffin of last years frog. If the bones of the frog are golden yellow, it is a good omen for the new year and the drums will sound and cheers will be heard all over. However, if the bones are grayish or black, the omen is bad, and people must burn incense and beg the Frog Goddess for mercy and help.  After burying the new frog, all the villagers sing and dance throughout the night around bonfires, sending the frogs soul to heaven.

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