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Yongren County Clothing Competition Festival

Chuxiong City, as the capital of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, is also the political, economic, cultural and transportation center for Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture. Yongren County is a mountainous area with the largest number of Yi people in the population of Chuxiong prefecture, and is the economic development fortress of Sichuan and Yunnan. By the end of 2013, Yongren minorities include: Yi, Bai, Dai, Zhuang, Miao, Hui, Lisu, Lahu, Wa, Naxi, Yao, Tibetan, Jingpo, Bulang, Bouyei, Achang, Hani, Xibe, Pumi, Mongolian, Nu, Jino, De'ang, Sui, Manchu, Drung, etc. On the fifteenth day of the first lunar month in every year, Yi people who live in Zhiju area of Yongren County and the nearing Zhonghe and Dayao County, will gather to celebrate the Clothing Competition Festival. 

Clothing Competition Festival 

 Literally the Clothing Competition Festival is a day for competition of clothing and dresses. It is a festival for Yi people to fully display their intelligence, wisdom and remarkable works, also a festival for beauty competition. 

On the competition, you will see an eyeful of colors and bright clothing. Yi women not only do embroideries on hats, clothes, aprons, but also on bags, shoes and insoles. And these works from different hand workers differ in process, composition and colors, and each has a special feature. Everything can be made into the embroideries, such as wind, rain, lightning, sun, moon, star, mountain, water, tree, stone, flower, birds, animals, human figures, etc. Composition in simplicity or complexity, images in exaggeration or deformation, tones in contrasts, altogether present a breathtaking wonder. 

The Origin of the Clothing Competition Festival 

The Clothing Competition Festival, so full of ancient long history and rich culture of Yi ethnic group, originates from the ancient rituals and the handover celebrations of the “fire”. With the passage of the historical changes, it has gone through over six hundred years according to written literal records. Since the operation of ancient road connecting Shiyang Salt Well to Sichuan, and along with the integration of Sichuan culture and Yi culture, Zhiju thus became an important relay station on this ancient road. And now more new elements are added into the traditional rites including sacrificial offering, marriage (reproduction), ancient salt road, clothing, singing, dancing, music, etc. which finally form a unique Yi cultural festival covering song-battle, dance-battle, fashion show, ethnic sport games and interflow of commodities as a whole. 

Aujourd’hui, lors de fertival, les grand-mères et les bébés sont tous présents pour démintrer la beauté de costume, des milliers de personnes viennent pour fêter ce festival. Le costume de l’ethnie Yi de Zhiju est dominé par la couleur rouge, on porte de chapeau de coq et les costumes colorés, la broderie est très fine, c’est vraiment un monde de fleure et une mer de fleurs.

You can see people at all ages on the clothing competition, from kids who just capable of walking to grandmothers at their 80s. Everyone is dancing freely to display the beauty of their dresses and clothing. There are thousands of contestants and bystanders which is really a large-scale and lively festival. The clothing of Yi people in Zhiju area is mostly in red, while people are wearing "cock cap", in red and green for the complete set of clothing with embroideries in detail. 

Highlights of the 2017 Clothing Competition Festival 

  For the 2017 Ethnic Clothing Competition Culture Festival of "Colorful Yunnan", in addition to the major activities such as the Yi People Fashion Show and the preliminary contest in Chuxiong for the Ethnic Clothing Competition Culture Festival, there are another 11 sub-activities, including the Colourful Clothing Photo Contest, the Great Beauty of Yongren Painting, Calligraphy and Photography Exhibition, the Yongren County’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Exhibition, the Yi Embroidery Street, the Yongren Local Food Culture Festival, the Feature Commodity Merchandising, the Traditional Folk Mora Contest, the Yongren Yi People "San Duo Jiao" Dance Square Cultural Activity, the Yongren Original Folk Song Prize Contest, the First "Sunshine Town Cup" Mountain Bike Cross-country Challenge, the 9th Lianchi Yi Embroidery & 1st Strawberries Festival. 

On the basis of historical heritage for thousands of years, this year's Clothing Competition Festival presented the world with more wonderful and richer content and stronger cultural confidence, in order to let people fully enjoy Yi embroideries with the beauty of Yi culture, and to let the voice of the Yi people be heard by the world.