Day 4 [Feb 12, 2016]
The Charming Xiangxi show is one of the 3 grand folk shows in China that consists of strong distinctive ethnic feature of the minority tribal groups in Hunan. The show perfectly integrates traditional folk tales, songs and drumming with modern music and acrobats. I love how gracefully the dances have been choreographed. Among al the performances in the 90-minutes show, I find the Wedding Lament (Tujia Kujia) unique and interesting. Kujia, literally translated as Crying Marriage, is the custom of Tujia's marriage where the bride had to weep and cry before, during and after her wedding day in order to set off happiness of the wedding via falsely sorrowful words. Days later after her wedding, female family members of the bride like grandmother, mother, sisters and aunts have to join in the crying custom. In the older days, the bride is considered a poorly cultivated girl if she fails to cry at the wedding and that would make her a laughingstock of her village!
After the indoor performances ended, audience will be invited to a bonfire in the open air. That is when your adrenaline starts rushing. The Qigong performance is absolutely the highlight of the Charming Xiangxi Show. It is definitely soul-stirring and exciting when you see the Qigong master walk back and forth on a gigantic sharp knife...BAREFOOT!
Tips: Before the indoor performances begin, a famous calligrapher from Zhangjiajie wrote beautiful calligraphies on stage, auctioning his freshly done work to the audience. The money will be donated to build a school for kids living in this poor area. With tourism being its main source of income, Zhangjiajie overall is still considered as a relatively poor village. So help out if you could! Anyway, art is priceless :)