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Horse Fight Festival in Rongshui

Rongshui’s Damiao Mountain is an unending succession of folds and majestic peaks. At the foot of the mountain, on a stretch of open flat land. People were cheering a fierce horse fight.
Horse fighting is a traditional sport of Miao Communities in Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. Five centuries ago. The more of a winner you were in horse fighting the more likely you were to win a girl’s heart. Therefore, whenever there was rivalry for a woman’s love, the Miao King would organize a horse-fight competition, with the hand of the hand of the woman going to the winner. As horse fighting increased in popularity among the Miao, more and more people began to take part, and horse fights became part of every traditional festival. Later, County Day, (26th November) was designated as the Horse Fight Festival.
The Horse Fight Festival lasts for three days. On the first day, People are busy catching fish for fish congee, cooking sticky rice making sweet rice wine and slaughtering chicken and ducks to welcome visiting relatives and friends. The next two days are for horse fights. A volley of gunfire sounds from a line of rustic guns, bamboo flute play, dragon and lion dances are performed, and then into the fight arena come the magnificent and awesome horses, led by their owners. Miao girls dressed in their full folk finery circle around the bamboo flute players, dancing to their rhythm. The muscled, sturdy horses gathering in the horse-fight ground are itching to fight. Then it starts. The first pair of horses pounces at each other, they rear up, they bite, they spin round and kick with their hind legs… the exciting and absorbing fight arouses cheers from the crowds of spectators.
The winning horse is draped with red and colored bands. The owner is also awarded with a girl’s red ribbon.

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