Commonly called "the ghost opera" or "the ghost dance", the exorcizing dance is a kind of dance originated from the ancient exorcizing culture. It is honored as "the living fossil of Chinese dance". The exorcizing dance derived from the totem worship of the clan society in ancient times. Originally, it was a dance believed capable of driving away ghosts performed at sacrificial exorcizing rituals. Later, the dance gradually evolved into a festive sacrificial performance normally staged between the first and 16th day of the first month on the lunar calendar. Today, the exorcizing dance is still performed in rural areas in Jinagxi, Guizhou and Yunnan etc. Along your travel to Shangri-la, you may have chance to discover the exorcizing dance.
People often wear the mask of a certain character in exorcising dance, or Nuo dance performance, such as mythic images, ordinary figures and historical celebrities. Thus an enormous pedigree of gods driving away the plague is constituted, with a saying goes like this, "With the mask a human being becomes a god".
Temple of Nuo Gods
The Temple of Nuo Gods is the habitat of all gods (the masks) and the major location for holding the ritual of exorcising dance. People in different places worship their own god in Nuo altar, such as the Qingyuan God, Nuo God and Goddess and the Ouyang Jinjia General. In order to show respect to the gods, people in some places would hold a regular ceremony to imitate the patrol of the dignitary, accompanied by music and drumbeats and a crowd of people. Chinese culture discovery would be a great experience along your China tour deals.
The Nuo opera is a kind of opera formed on the basis of folk sacrificial ceremony and drama. It originates in remote antiquity, when in the pre-Qin period there appeared the exorcising dances and songs entertaining both gods and human beings. In the period of the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties, operas thrived everywhere in China. The exorcising dances assimilated the formats of Flower Drum Opera, Festival Lantern Opera, Hui Opera and Mulian Opera, thus forming different genres and artistic styles.
To explore China, the Silk Road tour do offer the exciting experience of tracing back to ancient times, while I think the Chinese culture discovery has something different for travelers.
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