Ancient tribe relishes New Year

Updated: 2015-02-04 07:19

By Chen Ji(China Daily)

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Ancient tribe relishes New Year

Villagers dance to worship the gods during lunar New Year. Chen Ji / China Daily

His eyes shone with goodness, innocence and honesty. I couldn't refuse his sincere invitation.

Ao's family was busy on the morning of New Year's Eve.

His wife and daughter-in-law were cleaning the fireplace, which can't be done too early for fear of chasing away good luck.

Then they began to cook meat.

More than 20 cases of beer and other booze were prepared.

Streaky pork, sausage, chicken and braised fish were served that evening.

Baima speak their own ancient language, but my host family switched to Sichuan dialect for my sake. They feted me generously.

The Lunar New Year's Eve dinner lasted until midnight. After eating, Ao Lidao lit a joss stick to worship his ancestors and local gods. Everyone stayed up until the first cockcrow, when the entire village rushed to the alpine rivers.

Locals start the Spring Festival by fetching water they use to make tea and wash. The washing symbolizes a cleansing of all the previous year's bad luck.