Wangguo Festival in Jiuhe Village

On the first day of Wangguo Festival, every family in Jiuhe Village sends one of its younger members to "circle the fields". Dressed in festive attire, he or she joins a colorful procession of other young people carrying scriptures and barley wine, who spend the day parading around all the village's fields. Individual families also hold a ceremony in which they burn mulberry to pray for good fortune and a rich harvest.  

In Jiuhe village, Qonggyai County in Xizang, the annual Wangguo Festival is being observed from July 30 to August 3 this year. Held to celebrate a good harvest, Wangguo Festival generally takes place when the grains ripen, and is a grander event than Tibetan New Year in Xizang's agricultural areas. The custom of circling the fields – "wang" refers to crops and "guo" means to circle around – is believed to have originated in the Yarlung Zangbo River valley area as a ritual to pray to the god of the land for a good harvest. Now widely celebrated across rural and forested areas of Xizang, Wangguo Festival has been listed as part of China's national intangible cultural heritage.

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