The Huijie Festival of the A'chang people (会街) is solemnly celebrated as an important religious event in the A'chang settlements of the Autonomous Prefectuore of Dehong, in Yunnan's west. Beginning on the 10. day of the 9. month (lunar calendar), the start of the festival this year falls on 10. October and lasts for five days.
The traditional part of the Huijie Festival involves the "Green Dragon playing with the White Elephant". These two symbols of luck und happiness - made with a wood frame, paper and cloth - are being carried to the celebration grounds, followed by a large crowd of people, accompanied by loud drumbeats of Mang Luos and Bos (percussion instruments). Dragon and Elephant "dance" to the beats and music, which is considered as one of the highlights of the event and people around start dancing as well and let their bodies move like waves, jumping up and crouch down again.
Of course, there are a lot of legends and stories about the formation of the Huijie Festival, which is actually held for welcoming Buddha “Gedama” in Hinayana Buddhism. One legend sais that Gedama went up to heaven and prayed for his mother. When he returned to earth, he came back with a white elephant and green dragon accompanying him. The people prayed for his blessing and perform the elephant/dragon dance ever since.
For any more information on traveling the Dehong area or the A’chang minority and their culture, please get in touch with us directly.