Folk Custom of Nanning
Nanning Located Dialects In the past, Nanning had four local dialects: Guan(official), Zhuang, Ping and Bai(Guangdong) dialects. As time goes by, Guan, Zhang and Ping dialects are no longer used by the people. Now Bai dialect and putonghua, a common speech of the Chinese language, are spoken by the people in Nanning.
In fact, Guan dialect was used in Yongzhou in ancient times, similar to the local dilects of Guilin and Liuzhou in ancient times. It was said that after the Ming Dynasty, more and more local officials were from north China. The official dialect was spoken by local officials and those who had something to do with the officials.
The Zhuang dialect was evolved from the language spoken by ancient Zhuang people. Since 1956, with approval of the State Council, the Zhuang language has been popularized. Now 90 percent of the people in Wuming and Yongning counties speak the Zhuang dialect. In Guangxi, the Zhuang dialect is divided into south and north Zhuang dialects. The people of Wuming County speak the Zhuang dialects. The people of Wuming County speak standard north Zhuang dialect.
The people in the suburbs of Nanning and some townships of Yongning County speak Ping dialect, which was developed from the official dialect spoken by immigrants from Central Plains when General Di Qing of the Song Dynasty started the southern expedition.
Nanning Bai dialect as a typical local dialect. Legend has it that the dialect was introduced by merchants from Guangdong in ancient times, hence the name Guangdong dialect. However Nanning Bai dialect is different from Guangdong dialect in terms of intonation.
Folk Dances and operas
Nanning is rich in local folk dances and operas. Lion Dance, Ox Dance, Yongju Oprea and Guangdong Opera are vrey popular.
Lion dance is often performed to celebrate the Spring Festival or important happy events. There are two performers, one at the head and the other at the tail. Covered with a lion dance prop, they display a lovely lion, which rolls, jumps, shakes the head and weaves the tail.
Ox Dance is performed by the Zhuang people at the Spring Festival and on the third lunar month. Two oxen are played by four people, two for each ox. Covered with a piece of cloth in the shape of an ox, one performer plays the head, and the other, the tail. One ox walks ahead and the other lags behind, They vividly represent various postures of the ox, wishing for a bumper harvest.
Shaman Play is divided into two kinds in terms of the language the performers use. One is Ping Dialect Shaman Play and the other Zhang Dialect Shaman Play. Ping Dilect Shaman Play originated from the Qing Diynasty. In a wooden mask, the performers dance with knives, swords, cups and dishes, playing the roles of sheng, dan, jing and chou. Zhuang Dialect Shaman Play is mainly performed with songs and dances, and a few dialogues.
Yongju Opera, one of Nanning's local operas, originated in the Qing Dynasty. Its movements and dialogues puts tress on expressing the charachtr's feelings. Actors and actresses play the roles of sheng, dan, jing and chou accompanied by drums, cymbals, two-stringed instruments and throat wind pipes.
Guandong Opera is also one of Nanning's local operas. It was introduced to Nanning from Guangdong in the Qing Dyansy, and is now loved in by the people in Nanning.
Folk Music Instruments
The Zhuang people in Nanning often use the following music instrument: Drums, horns, big gongs, cymbals, suona horns, etc. They play music instruments at the Sping Fetivals and on happy occasions, reflecting the unique culture of the Zhuang people.
The traditional handicrafts in Nanning include embroidery, brocade, bamboo and wood articles, pottery, carving, painting, papercuts, tie-dyed pattern garments and wax printing.
Knows as Zhuang brocade, brocade is woven with colorful cotton yarn and can be made into quilt covers, handbags, curtains, scarves, etc.
Tie-dyed pattern garments are made of cloth dyed patterns. Tie-dyed cloth and wax printed cloth can made into garments, bags, scarves, and indoor ornaments.
Nanning people celebrate the taditional festivals throughout the year.
Spring Festival in the first lunar month starts from the first day to the fifteenth day. Evrey household sets off firecrackers to send off the past year and welcome a new year. The second day is the day for people to visit friends and relatives. On the night of the fifteenth day is the Lantern Festival with hundreds of beautiful lanterns on display. On the sixteenth day, temple fairs are held in the suburbs of Nanning.
On the second day of the lunar month, farmers in the outskirts kill chicken and ducks to offer a sacrifice to the God of Earth for a bumper harvest in autumn.
Pure Brightness Festival falls on the third lunch month. On the day every family cook five-color glutinous rice and pay their respects to dead people at their tombs, The third day of the third lunar month is the Folk Song Festival of the Zhuang People. On the day the Zhuang people gather at the slopes to sing songs in singles, doubles, or groups. The cross-singing goes on from morning to late at night. Many yong people pair off through this activity.
Glutinous Rice Cake Festival falls on the fourth lunar month. On the eighth day by the lunar calendar, women pick Chinese pulsatilla and Chinese mugwort in the outskirts to make glutinous rice cakes. It is said that one who eats the cake can be protected from illness and disasters.
The fifth day of the fifth lunar month welcomes the Dragon Boat Festival when people hold a wonderful dragon boat race on the Yongjiang River. Men's and wonen's dragon boats vie with each other while thousands of spectators on both sides cheer for them. The winner will be given a baked pig as a reward. In addition people make pyramid-shaped dumplings made of glutinous rice wrapped in reed leaves.
In the sixth lunar month, Nanning's people love to dry their clothes under hot sun to get rid of moisture caused by wet weather. Hence the Clothes Drying Festival on the sixth day of the sixth lunar month.
On the fourteenth day of the severth month by the lunar calendar, people in the counties, townships and villages kill chickens and ducks and prepare money and articles for their ancestors in the nether world.
The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the fifteen day of the eighth lunar month when all family members get together to eat fruits and mooncakes in the moonlight. It is a family reunion day.
The ninth day of the ninth lunar month is the Double Ninth Festival, a festival for old people. Many old pelple climp up the mountains and hills on the day. On the tenth day of the tenth lunar month, many farmers kill chickens and ducks and prepare winter clothes for their dead family members, hence the name of " delivering winter clothes."
The eleventh lunar month greets the Winter Solstice. On the day each family make glutinous rice dumplings and prepare a dinner for family reunion.
On the twenty-third day of the twelfth lunar month, people clean their homes and prepare delicious food for the God of Kitchen. On the New Year's Eve, which falls on the 30th day, people eat delicious food, drink wine and set off firecrackers to welcome the new year.