Home > Index > Latest News
From: China Daily 2010-10-13 09:44:00
Text size
The medium is the message

Langjia villagers dance to entertain the mountain gods during a festival.

Langjia villagers dance to entertain the mountain gods during a festival. Photos by Mu Qian / China Daily

A medium carries out a blood offering ritual.

A medium carries out a blood offering ritual.

The little-known glu rol, or "sixth lunar month festival", in Qinghai province's Langjia village is a spectacular event replete with ancient customs, Mu Qian discovers.

Two boisterous crowds led by mediums representing the mountain gods met up in the center of the village, while women stood reverentially by the roadside holding milk and liquor. Accompanied by cymbals and gongs, the two mediums sprinkled the milk and liquor on the ground and danced as the crowd shrieked.

The tribal dance at Langjia village, Tongren county, Qinghai province, was part of the celebrations for the glu rol, or "sixth lunar month festival", which few outsiders had seen before the 1990s.

Celebrated by the Tibetans for a number of days every summer, the festival retains ancient customs that predate Tibetan Buddhism.

According to an anthropological report, the people of Langjia lived according to tribal customs before the 1960s, and the current division of villages is based on the original tribes. Thus each village has its own tutelary gods and related rituals.

Langjia is one of the tribe-villages, where two shrines are dedicated to the local mountain gods - Anilari (the mountain to the east of the village) and Ani'anhua (the mountain to the south of the village).

The two mediums representing the two gods were both in their 30s and appeared to be possessed. They performed a set of complicated dances and put ceremonial scarves around each other's necks.

One of the mediums had an unusual hair style as he had his forehead shaved, like people from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

"He still lives in the past," a villager told me.

To me, the whole scene seemed to be something from the past, except for a few tourists taking pictures. Some got too close to the mediums and were hit by their drumsticks.

The medium with a shaved forehead, who was possessed by the south mountain god, turned out to be principal for the day.

He danced his way to a square beside the shrine of his deity, where dancers from the village formed three circles, the one at the core made up of young boys. Dancers swirled in one direction and then the other, during which they would point their hands up to the sky. 

[editor : ]
Related Stories
· Tibet celebrates Festival of Descent of Buddha from Heaven
· Grand Prayer Festival holds in Tibetan monastery
· A Buddhist palace fit for the gods
· Zogang Monastery under maintenance for protection of cultural relics
· China issues regulation on administration of Tibetan Buddhist temples
· Tibet invests 8.45 mln yuan to renovate Nenying Chode Monastery
  Most Popular
  • Asia's holiest mountain to see highest charity race ...
  • Tibetan Buddhism among Mosuo people
  • Railway to Tibet stands safety, environment tests
  • Nearly 20,000 Tibetan antelopes return to Hoh Xil
  • Former Tibetan serfs become millionaires
  • New Beijing-Tibet expressway project approved
  • Tibet builds national parks to woo international sig...
  • Tibet's import-export value in 2010 hits decade high
  •   CAPDTC News
  • CAPDTC hosts New Year reception
  • 11th Panchen Erdeni Qoigyi Gyibo donates and prays f...
  • Top Chinese political advisor meets attendees at CPA...
  • Top political advisor stresses protection of Tibetan...
  • Overseas Chinese urged to introduce Tibet in foreign...
  • CAPDTC: Newly-elected directors vow to protect Tibet...
  • Representatives at 2nd Conference of CAPDTC
  • New leadership elected in CAPDTC Executive Council
  •   Latest News
  • Shigatse Airport officially opened on July 8
  • One night in Lhasa
  • Soft loan available for Lhasa women to start business
  • Dampa beauties
  • Tourist arrivals to Tibet rise
  • Tibet through the lens - mountains and rivers
  • New school buses hitting the road in Tibet
  • Renovated Tibetan village attracts tourists
  •   Lesson Six: Family
      Hello, Everyone! Welcome to Learning Tibetan. In this lesson, we will learn some new words and sentences about family.
    About Us
    Contact Us
    Site Map
    Legal Warning
    Copyright © China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture ( CAPDTC )