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Cultural Heritage / Trip Ideas

Where face painting means blessings

By Weiwei Guan

October 26

The Yi people from Qiubei County in China’s Yunnan Province traditionally celebrate Face Painting Festival through the whole second month of the lunar calendar. People use black pigment to paint each other’s faces to express love and blessings.

The Yi people from Qiubei County in China’s Yunnan Province traditionally celebrate Face Painting Festival through the whole second month of the lunar calendar. People use black pigment to paint each other’s faces to express love and blessings.

The Yi people from Qiubei County in China’s Yunnan Province traditionally celebrate Face Painting Festival through the whole second month of the lunar calendar. People use black pigment to paint each other’s faces to express love and blessings.

A Yi girl is dancing at the Face Painting Festival in Qiubei County, Yunnan. [Photo: VCG]
For the past 1,000 years, the Yi people have held this event to drive away evil spirits. These days, the traditional event has developed into a carnival with multiple meanings.

People are trying to paint a journalist’s face black. [Photo: VCG]
It’s believed that the blacker people’s faces are painted, the more blessings and happiness they will have. Nowadays, the event has developed into an opportunity for the younger generation to choose their partners. Men or women paint the face of their crushes, with how black the face is painted being used as a sign of how much you like them. If the feeling is not mutual, the person targeted can run away or reject the offer.

Tourists are enjoying themselves at the Face Painting Festival at Qiubei County, Yunnan. [Photo: VCG]
Tourists are enjoying themselves at the Face Painting Festival at Qiubei County, Yunnan. [Photo: VCG]
 

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