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Dazhai Village: Land of Idyllic Beauty

2023-03-02 11:36:24   By:China-ASEAN    Hits:

By Chen Zhiying

“In a wide, level valley with houses, fields, and farms, bamboo and mulberries grew luxuriantly. Farmers were working and dogs and chickens were running about. The old men and children appeared very happy and contented...” For thousands of years, people all long for the world depicted in Tao Yuanming’s prose The Peach Colony. Here in Dazhai, a small village in Longsheng Various Nationalities Autonomous County, Guangxi, you can also encounter such a world where human lives in harmony with nature.

Tips: Tao Yuanming was a famous poet in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD 317-420) and renowned for writing poetry in praise of a bucolic life of simple pleasures.

Stunning rice terraces in Dazhai Village

Stunning views of rice terraces 

Although rice terraces wind their way around mountains throughout China, the one in Dazhai Village stretching for miles is considered to be the most magnificent among them: Layers upon layers of the rice terraces extend from the foot of the mountain to its top, like a ladder climbing up the sky. Looking from the opposite side at a distance, the multiple tiers embrace the mountains circles by circles, sometimes dotted with a wooden house at the highest point, forming the beautiful pattern of spiral shells and proclaiming the beauty of curving lines. One of the most representative views of the rice terraces is called Golden Buddha Summit. It gains the reputation because the terraces look like a Buddha when seen from the village on other hills, especially when ripened rice plants cover the mountain in autumn. 

The scenery in Dazhai Village varies in four seasons. In spring when farmers start their farming work, water from streams and trenches is irrigated to the fields in preparation for the planting of rice seedlings. The crystal clear water glitters and reflects the blue sky and floating clouds. In the fields, farmers plough the fallow land happily. All these together make an overwhelming picture created by water’s art. In summer, the rice stalks have begun to grow stronger, forming verdant greenery as far as the eye can see. Under the sunlight, the bright jade hues of the rice terraces are amplified even more, showcasing the vigor and liveliness of life. When autumn comes, the rice terraces have been painted in golden color. The smell of the new rice is pervading all over Dazhai Village, and the whole village is full of harvesting happiness and vitality. At the end of the year when the temperature turns low, the small village is covered in a thin blanket of snow. Popping heads from the window, one can see white ribbons running along the mountains, and the village is silent, seeming to wait for the arrival of another new year.

Rice terraces in spring make an overwhelming picture created by water's art


3、Dazhai Village in Autumn
When autumn comes, the rice terraces have been painted in golden color
In winter, the small village is covered in a thin blanket of snow

While indulging in the stunning views, one could not help but admire local villagers’ fine qualities of resilience and hard-working. It’s hard to believe that only through manual labor and coarse tools, local people turn the original difficultly-ploughed land into fertile fields. From deep river valleys to steep slopes, terraces have been built where there is soil. Not only that, the rice terraces in Dazhai Village now become a fascinating scenery, attracting visitors from all over the world to visit and earning local people another meal ticket.

Tips: 1. No matter what season you travel to Dazhai Village, you’ll be met with unique and beautiful sights of rice terraces. 

  1. It’s recommended to take rope-way sightseeing to enjoy the terraced fields.

Strong Red Yao ethnic flavor

Another major feature of Dazhai Village lies in its unique Red Yao ethnic flavor. Inhabited by the Red Yao, a branch of the Yao minority group, the village boasts many distinctive festivals and folklore activities, such as the cloth drying festival, the long-hair competition, the night celebration in Longji Rice Terraces, etc. The cloth drying festival that the locals value most falls on the sixth day of the sixth lunar month. The reason why it’s held at this time is because this is the day that marks the half of a year and therefore has the strongest solar lights to dry clothes. 

5、Clothes-drying Festival of Dazhai Village
Local people are dancing in the cloth drying festival

Local people believe the sunshine will help get rid of bad luck and bring good fortune. The festival is a grand occasion for the local people, only after the Lunar New Year. On that day, the Red Yao women will take their clothes out and hang them on the windows, balconies, and corridors. Rows of red blouses, black skirts, delicate belts, as well as exquisite decorations are on display. The whole village is filled with bright red color, against the green backdrop, making an overwhelming picture and a spectacular scene.“Chinese culture regards human life as part of nature and, as such, the only way for us to survive is to live in harmony with nature.” Such philosophy can be found in every corner of Dazhai Village. The splendid rice terraces and the profound Red Yao ethnic culture demonstrate residents’ wisdom in adapting to local conditions and the unity of man and nature.

 The long-hair competition

Tips: 1. The name Red Yao comes from the women’s red costume, which symbolizes good fortune and happiness. 

2. With amazing views of rice terraces and distinctive ethnic culture, Dazhai Village was named the Best Tourism Village 2022 by the World Tourism Organization on December 20, 2022.

(Pictures in the article are provided by the Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)

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