Nuwa Festival

Home Culture 2019-06-08

Nuwa Festival

Nuwa Festival is an ancient traditional folk custom and folk religious and cultural activity. Legend has it that the eighteenth day of the third month of the lunar calendar is Nuwa's birthday. Therefore, from the first to eighteenth day of the third month of the lunar calendar, people from Shanxi, Hebei, Shandong and Henan provinces come to worship Nuwa, thus forming a far-reaching Temple Fair of the Wa Palace. The worship activities mainly praise the merits of Walu, the ancestor of human beings, such as making human beings from earth, making heaven with refined stones, breaking feet, erecting four poles, controlling floods, making marriages and making reeds. The main contents include folk sacrifices, public sacrifices, pilgrimage and so on. The temple fair period is the time when Nuwa's beliefs and customs are concentrated, mainly including the reproductive customs such as tied dolls, unlocking locks, asking for good luck and safety, worshipping Nuwa customs such as sitting at night and Sami noodles, and the festival and marriage customs related to Nuwa.

On May 20, 2006, Nuwa Festival was approved by the State Council to be included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage list.

Origin of Festivals

The goddess patching the sky

"Nuwa refines stones to fill the sky and make people from earth" is one of the most famous myths in Chinese history. It is widely circulated and is well known to all. Nuwa is a goddess with snake body and human head in myth and legend. "Bu Ben Ji o Three Emperors Ben Ji" cloud: "Nuwa family name is also wind surname, snake body head, has the sacred virtue, Dai Mi Li, the name of Xinu. "Shuowen" twelve says: "Nuwa, the sacred daughter of the ancient times, who also transforms everything." Nuwa, also known as Wa Emperor, Empress, Yindi Emperor, God Medium, Feng surname, is the same mother as Fuxi. The main deeds of Nuwa recorded in the historical records are to make up the pole of heaven, to make human beings, to foster human beings, to make reeds, to help Fuxi's real surname, Tong Medium Wa. She is the great founder of ancient Chinese human and ancient civilization. Also known as the ancestor of mankind - "Nuwa Niang".

It is said that Nuwa was born in Chengji. According to the authoritative works such as Cihai, the ancient Chengji is in the area of Longcheng Town in Qin'an today. Longcheng is an important town of Guanlong. It has place names such as Fenggou, Fengtai and Fengming named by "Feng". There are ancient village names such as Wahuang, Fengwei and Longquan in the town. According to legend, Nuwa was born in Fenggou, grew up in typhoon, and was buried in Fengming. These places are near the east of Longcheng Town. On the half cliff of the wind ditch, there is a deep Nuwa cave. The tunnel shrinks and falls in the shape of a gourd. It is said that Nuwa was born in this cave, or that Nuwa lived in this cave, or that Nuwa practiced in this cave. Longcheng also has a spring, known as "Longquan", built a "Longquan Well", the mystery of this well lies in the four seasons of the year regardless of weather, rain or drought, its water level has remained unchanged, never exhausted, it is said that Nuwa was to draw this spring water, Yushi created people.

Legend has it that water god and fire god Zhurong fought for power and profit, and the defeated co-workers had nowhere to vent their anger. They knocked down the big pillar supporting the heaven and earth, Buzhoushan. As a result, the sky crashed down a big hole, flooding the land, fire everywhere, human suffering. The kind goddess Nuwa, watching her people escape in floods and fires, felt very sad and had to work hard to make up for the sky.

Historical Origin

Shexian County is located at the junction of Shanxi, Hebei and Henan provinces in southwestern Hebei Province. There is Wa Palace built on the ancient Huangshan Mountain, 10 kilometers west of the city, covering an area of 550 mu. The main buildings are Chaoyuan Palace, Stopping Qiu Palace, Guangsheng Palace and Wa Palace. They are divided into two groups, namely, the mountain and the mountain, and are connected by the Eighteen Panshan Road in the middle.

Nuwa is the ancestor of the Chinese people. In the matriarchal clan society period 6500 years ago, along the Qingzhanghe River near the Wa Palace, the ancestors of China multiplied and thrived, then moved to the mountains to fight floods and control water, set up altars to worship and multiply human beings. Later generations built temples here. The existing buildings were rebuilt in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Taoist and Buddhist buildings coexisted and became the material support of Nuwa culture.

The historical evolution of temple fair mainly represents the historical origin of Nuwa culture in Shexian County. Legend has it that the eighteenth day of the third lunar month is Nuwa's birthday. Every year from the first day of March to the eighteenth day of the third lunar month, people from all sides come here to worship Nuwa. So far, it has a history of more than a thousand years. Each gets what he wants. Free, Western Qin and Jin Dynasties, Eastern Qingyan

The sound of golden drums and cheers shook the valley for thousands of years. During this period, it experienced a tortuous period of development. Since the completion of the temple in the Northern Qi Dynasty, there have been small-scale temple fairs. After the Western Wei, Northern Zhou, Sui, Tang, Five Dynasties, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, the scale of the temple fairs has been expanding year by year and has been spreading for a long time, until the Qing Dynasty reached its peak.

Shexian Nuwa culture has a long history and rich content. Wa Royal Palace was built in Tianbao, Northern Qi Dynasty, and has a history of more than 1450 years. It mainly includes folk sacrifices, prayers and vows, pilgrimage to incense, myths and legends, life rituals and customs, and festivals at the time of the year. Nuwa has been recorded in Chu Ci Tianwen, Li Ji, Shi Ji, Shanhai Jing, Dahuang Xijing, Huainanzi Lan Meixun and Shixian Zhi of Jiaqing in Qing Dynasty. Shexian County is located on the North Bank of the lower reaches of Zhanghe River in Linqing County, which was formerly Shahou State. Shaxian County was first built in Han Dynasty, and then renamed Shexian County because people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait walked across Zhangshui River. From the Wei Dynasty to the Northern Qi Dynasty, they were Linshui County, which belonged to Weijun County of Xiangzhou. The Wa Palace was located in Fenghuang Mountain, 10 kilometers northwest of Shexian City. In the Western Han Dynasty, it was said that Nuwa was here to make man from earth and make up heaven with stone. "Huainanzi" of the Han Dynasty contains: "In ancient times, the four poles were abandoned, Jiuzhou cracked, the sky was not overlapping, the land was not full; the fire was burning and the water was endless; the beasts ate on the people and the birds grabbed the old and the weak. So Nuwa refined five-coloured stones to fill the sky, cut off the Ao enough to set up the quadrupole, kill the black dragon to Jizhou, and accumulate Lu ash to stop pornographic water. Tianli, quadrupole, water drying up, Jizhou Ping, cunning death, people's livelihood. "Huainanzi Lan Meixun" also contains: "When heaven and earth opened, Nuwa Loess acted as a theatrical business, unable to provide, but throwing ropes in the mud, holding it as a human being."

Folk worship continued after the founding of the People's Republic of China. During the Cultural Revolution, Wa Palace Temple was imprisoned as a feudal superstition.

As a result, the thousand-year-old ancient temple disappeared, nobody cared about it, and was left alone. The ancient buildings and stone carvings of Wahuang were also destroyed to a great extent. Many contents and forms of Nuwa culture were also on the verge of being lost.

After the reform and opening-up in 1978, the Wa Palace Temple Fair began to recover and gradually restored its former grandeur. Folk sacrifices were on a large scale, where pilgrims from all directions flocked. The forms of sacrifices were rich and varied, and Nuwa culture was continued and strongly protected. The county Party committee and the county government attach great importance to the ancient cultural relics. Each year, special funds are allocated for the salvage restoration of the ancient buildings of Wahuang. On November 20, 1996, the Wahuang Palace was announced by the State Council as a national key cultural relics protection unit.

In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, there were public sacrifices. The Records of Shexian County of Jiaqing in the Qing Dynasty contained: "I have undergone repairs in Shunzhi, Kangxi and Yongzheng. Every year, on the eighteenth day of March, there are priests to offer sacrifices. Since the beginning of the month, I have opened the temple gate twenty times and gathered women from far and near." But the form and content have been lost. In September 2003 and September 2004, two large-scale ceremonies were held under the leadership of the government, which restored the government's ceremonies.

The above measures have played a good role in protecting, inheriting and promoting the rich and dignified Nuwa culture.

Folk Customs

Traditional March Temple Fair

1. Concentrating on Folk Sacrifices

According to legend, the eighteenth day of March in the lunar calendar is Nuwa's birthday. From the beginning of the first three months of the lunar calendar to the eighteenth of March, it was the Wa Palace Temple Fair. During the temple fair, the main form of Chinese folk sacrifices was the pendulum society. Surrounding areas mainly display clubs in Zhangzhou, Quanzhou, Changzhi and Yuci of Fujian Province. Every year, on March 18 of the lunar calendar, more than 100 people are organized with a complete set of sacrificial equipment and equipment. They go to Wa Palace in Shexian County to seek their roots and worship Nuwa. Almost every village in the region has its own communes, or even multi-communes. Since the reign of Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, there have been seven communes worshiping at the top, namely Qu'e, Shimen, Qiyuan, Wen'cun, Sorbourg, Taocheng and Tang Wang'e. On the first day of the third month of the lunar calendar, members of various social organizations, mostly thousands of people, few hundreds of people, wear full antique clothes. There are three sacrifices, such as Tailao, Shiguo Sanzhen, steamed bread and dried fruit. The sacrificial equipment includes Golden Melon, Axe and Axe, Flag of Sacrifice, Merit and Virtue, Huanglong Flag, Colorful Flag and so on. The sacrificial procession is a long word, vast and magnificent. Traditional folklore activities incorporate rich cultural connotations such as music, dance, clothing, props and so on.

2. Pray for Return

In addition to the centralized folk sacrificial offering clubs, from the beginning of March, scattered pilgrims gathered in the Wa Palace, praying for the return of their wishes, and the flow continued throughout the month. The contents of prayers include praying for happiness, longevity, wealth, future, son, peace, health and future, etc. The forms of prayers are sitting at night, playing drums, Sami, knotting and opening ropes, wrapping red stones, knotting red cloth, binding dolls, unlocking and so on. Prayer is also the wish made when praying for death. When the purpose is achieved, the act of fulfilling it is to bring sacrifices, perfume, firecrackers and so on to the Wa Palace to pay homage to Emperor Gong Wa's Virgin Mother. This sense of national identity and cultural identity has formed a rich cultural atmosphere of folklore.

3. Jinxiang pilgrimage

The time of pilgrimage to fragrance is not very fixed, usually on the first or fifteenth day of the lunar month, or in peacetime. The pilgrims are from all walks of life, with officials and people, and sometimes with foreign friends. Most of the forms are burning incense and kowtowing, pilgrimage into incense, the purpose is nothing more than to pray for Guotai Min'an, Wufu Minfeng, good weather, bumper grain, all things as you wish, family well-being and so on.

Government sacrifices

Shixian Chronicle of Jiaqing in Qing Dynasty contains: "I have undergone repairs in Shunzhi, Kangxi and Yongzheng. Every year, on the eighteenth day of March, a Priest presents a sacrifice to the gods. Since the beginning of the month, I have opened the temple gate twenty times and gathered women from far and near." It shows that there have been public sacrifices since the Qing Dynasty. By the end of the Qing Dynasty, the basic form, content and scope were on the verge of being lost due to the war.

In order to restore the public sacrifice, in September 2003 and September 2004, the people's government of Shexian County organized a high-standard public sacrifice ceremony for Nuwa in Wa Palace.

Nuwa culture has a long history and rich connotation. She is an outstanding representative of human ancestor culture. It mainly includes the worship and sacrifice of the people and the government to the virtues of the ancestor of human beings, such as making people from earth, making heaven with stone, breaking foot, erecting four poles, controlling floods, marrying and making reeds. The main forms are the traditional Wa Palace March Temple Fair, the folk sacrifices during the period, the public sacrifices on September 15, myths and legends, the relationship between the legends of Nuwa and the names of villages and places, marriage, fertility, life etiquette and customs, festivals at the age of five, etc.

Etiquette and Customs of Life

Nuwa culture has a lot of connections with the rites and customs in life.

Bridal chamber. In the wedding custom of Shexian County, the bride has to cover her head with red and the groom has to blacken her face with pot bottom ash. The origin of this custom is related to the legend of the marriage of Nuwa's brother and sister. Because Nuwa created human beings, she not only assumed the responsibility of delivering children in the hearts of the people of Shexian County, but also blessed the children to grow up safely.

When young men and women get married far and near, if they don't have children, their mothers-in-law will mostly take their daughter-in-law to Wa Palace to beg for their children. After delivering their children, Wa Huang's grandmother will lock the child's true soul in Wa Palace and take care of it. They will not be taken away by evil spirits. Until they are thirteen years old, parents will take their children to Wa Palace to unlock and lead them home.

When unlocking the lock, three people with different surnames will sing the song of unlocking the lock and beat the child with the thorns, each of them will unlock the lock three times. Most of the lyrics are words to protect children's health and intelligence, such as opening the doors of heaven and earth, unlocking the locks in front of grandma, beating on the head, smart, beating under the feet, and living for a hundred years.

With the changes of the times, the contents of unlock songs are also changing. For example, in today's popular unlock songs, they sing: unlock, mind and mind, and take a doctoral examination next year. The opening ceremony is also an early rite of passage for adults. According to the textual research of Shexian Geographical Names Office, many village names and place names in Shexian are related to Nuwa culture, such as Tanyin Village and Nuwa's making Sheng reeds, Mopanshan Mountain and Nuwa's making man, Taocheng Village and Nuwa's cultivation.


Nuwa created human beings and is the greatest mother of mankind. Whenever the first day of the first lunar month, the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Qixi Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival and other important festivals are celebrated, people will go to the Wa Palace to pay homage to Nuwa and regard these festivals as the happiness and Festival joy bestowed by Nuwa.

For a long time, Nuwa culture has formed the following basic characteristics:

1. Rich in content and well-known. Nuwa culture, as an important part of the ancestor culture, has rich cultural connotations, including myths and legends, folk worship, prayers for the dead and vows, historical records, etc. It is widely circulated in different regions. It is well known to women, children and elders, and has a long history and a good reputation.

2. There are fixed time and place for civil and public sacrifices. The time of temple fair is from the first day of March to the eighteenth day of March in the lunar calendar, and the time of folk sacrifice is the first day of March. The time of the government's public sacrifice is September 15 every year. The place of worship is Wa Palace in Shexian County.

3. Both public and folk sacrifices have relatively fixed forms. Folk sacrifices and government sacrifices have certain fixed formats. There are clear regulations in ceremonies, procedures, personnel arrangements, sacrificial utensils, clothing, props and other aspects, and they are carried out step by step in accordance with the fixed procedures.

4. Group participation. During the period of Wa Palace Temple Fair, there were always people from high officials to ordinary people, few children from the general angle, all walks of life, three religions and nine streams, all with piety and worship their ancestors.

5. Geographical extensiveness. Ancient regions involved in temple fair sacrifice included Shaanxi, Shanxi, Shandong, Henan, Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and other provinces and cities, and now have developed to Fujian, Hubei, Jiangsu, Anhui and other provinces and regions.

6. Thick cultural connotations. Long-term sacrificial activities have formed a thick Nuwa culture. Following the sacrificial activities, sacrificial music, sacrificial culture, sacrificial utensils culture and costume props culture were synchronously produced, which also had high folk research value in the form of fan drum, sitting at night and seeking response. To satisfy human prayers and requests, rich contents have been added and rich cultural connotations have been incorporated.

Inheritance value

1. The value of ancestor culture inheritance. Shexian Nuwa culture, as a branch of the Chinese ancestor culture, has been inherited and evolved for more than thousands of years and has never declined. It shows the vitality of folk culture and is a treasure of Chinese culture. Discovering, protecting and inheriting this culture not only enhances the cohesion of Chinese descendants and the nation, but also plays an irreplaceable role in the education of ethnic and cultural identity, including adolescents.

2. The value of academic research. As the epitome of folk culture, Nvwa culture has its rich content, basic characteristics and inheritance history, which is rare in Chinese ancient culture. Its rescue, excavation, inheritance and protection will drive and promote the promotion of Nvwa culture as a whole, and it will be of great value to the study of folk customs, folk customs and beliefs in the past dynasties from the Northern Qi Dynasty to the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

3. Promoting national unity and building a harmonious society. Groups of different nationalities, skin colours, strata and parties worship one ancestor and pay homage to one ancestor, which will play an important role in building a harmonious socialist society, promoting people's all-round development, building spiritual civilization in the region and even in the whole country, enriching people's cultural life and improving the overall quality of the people.

4. Enriching the ancestor culture and enriching the treasure house of Chinese culture. Nuwa culture is an important part of the ancestor culture. To carry forward and glorify Nuwa culture can enrich its connotation, make it self-contained, unique, and further enrich the cultural treasure house of the Chinese nation.


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