The Cultural Allusions of Hubei
Hubei has a long historical and cultural history. There are many famous allusions in ancient China, such as 「drive a cart in ragged clothes to blaze a new trail」, 「lofty mountains and flowing water」, 「Zhaojun leaving the frontier fortress」, 「Mulan joining the army」, 「offer service as Mao Sui did」, 「The sincerity can make metal and stone crack」, 「The Spring Snow,---a highbrow song」, 「The Song of Rustic Poor」, and the love story of Dong Yong and the Seventh Fairy Maiden. All these allusions originated form Hubei.
The main habitants in Hubei are Han people. Compared with other regions in China, Han people are very similar in customs as paying New Year calls, appreciating lanterns on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, visiting graves on Qingming, eating zongzi(glutinous rice dumplings) and dong dragon boat racing on the Dragon Boat Day, as well as appreciating the moon on Mid-autumn Day.
Though a tradition in many places in China, eating zongzi an doing dragon boat racing is especially popular in Hubei, Qu Yuan’s hometown, as the custom comes form the commemorating of Qu Yuan, the patriotic poet, every year on the Dragon Boat Day, the practice of zongzi eating and dragon boat racing will prevail all across the province, in all the places where there is a river of lake, dragon boats will have been prepared will ahead of time, ready to compare form the 5th lunar month’s 1st day to 5th day, dragon boar racing creates splendid views with the boats rushing forward like arrows, and the huge crowd on both banks shouting over the beating gongs an drums, also during this period, Hubei people have the tradition of having preserved eggs and salted duck eggs, a cold dish of preserved eggs tofu or fried beans with salted duck eggs becomes a must in the dining table, And these eggs make perfect presents for those who plan to visit friends or relatives.
Major minorities in Hubei include tujia and Miao people, living primarily in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in the west of Hubei. From the 3rd day to the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, Tujia people hold large-scaled activities of sacrifice, pray and celebration, in which the hand-waving dance is an indispensable part. The dance is primarily and a demonstration of ritual, labor or battles. Though simple and rough, it looks beautiful and has a tremendous primitive style. Tujia people have unique wedding and funeral customs, the wedding is accompanied by a lot of crying and the bride has to sing a weeping song of marriage. The funeral custom, on the other hand, is characterized by the funeral dance: people nearby, men and women, old and young, gather in front of coffin, laughing and dancing until the next morning.
For Miao people, songs are always a part of the life. Young people even use songs to send their hearts to their loved ones. Miao folk songs are sonorous, sweet and crystal. On Miao holidays, people from different mountain villages will gather in a square to celebrate. At the time, people in their colorful costumes sing their songs and beat gongs and drums, making a sonorous and exciting symphony.