Jishou Drum Cultural Festival 2015 got under way in Jishou, a town in the western part of China’s Hunan province, on September 19. Jishou, known as an internationally recognized drum town, has been hosting the drum culture festival for the last three years. With “The World of Drum-playing and Dancing Inspires the World” as the tagline, the Drum Festival is designed to showcase the mysterious traditional Chinese drum culture of Jishou and the surrounding Xiangxi Autonomous Prefecture to the world.
Jishou Drum Cultural Festival 2015 kicked off in Jishou, a town in the western part of China’s Hunan province, on September 19th. Jishou, known as “the drum town with international recognition”, and the cradle of Xiangxi drum culture.
Jishou is the seat of Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in western Hunan Province and an important settlement of the Miao people. The Miao drum is regarded as a holy object by the Miao. The unique drumbeat and dance movements tell the impressive history of their social development. The history, culture, means of living and migration characteristics of the Miao people are reflected in the various performance genres and rhythmic patterns of the drumbeat. The Miao drum dance in Xiangxi Jishou has been designated by the Chinese government as an element of the country’s intangible cultural heritage.
Visitors from all over the world have gradually fallen in love with Jishou and its environs since the inauguration of the Drum Cultural Festival in 2013. At Jishou Dehang Grand Canyon, playing the Miao Drum has become one of the favorite cultural activities among the local populace.
The sound of one thousand Miao drums being pounded in unison can be heard at the opening ceremony aptly named “Ji Zhou Ji Nian“, which, when enunciated in the Miao language means “Let’s have fun”. More than 3,000 drummers and performers engaged an audience of thousands of onlookers who actively participated in the event. The thundering sound of the traditional Xiangxi Miao drums as well as drum performances serving as an accompaniment to martial arts demonstrations have become the most noteworthy highlight of the opening ceremony. In addition, outside the 4,200-year-old city of Qianzhou, 26 sites designated as part of the country’s cultural heritage and under the protection of the Xiangxi government have been opened to tourists, many of whom have come from the four corners of the globe to see and learn about the unique and quintessential culture of the region.