Wine Culture 美酒文化 Drinking Custom of Maonan Nationality 毛南族饮酒习俗

People of Maonan nationality are fond of drinking and they make wine by themselves. There are so many raw materials for brewing, including glutinous rice, sticky rice, corn, millet, sorghum, pachyrhizus and cushaw, which all can make good wine. The degree of the brewed wine is not high and generally 20 to 35 degrees. The Temple Festival is usually in May of Chinese traditional calendar. At this time, people finish transplanting rice seedlings, and they must pray the gods for good weather for the crops and sacrifice the originator of the cattle-breeder “San Jie Gong” at the same time.
At that time, every village shall kill a beef cattle for sacrifice and feed the farm cattle glutinous rice balls and steamed pork with rice flour. The sacrifice ceremony shall be held in front of Sanjie Temple and presided over by the “Ghost Hunter” and held the ceremony of “Eating Cattle”. The people of Maonan nationality are hospitable with lots of etiquettes. No matter whether the guests are old or young, they are all invited to sit with the eldership at meals. If there is no wine, it will be considered as breach of etiquette at meals. After seated, the guests shall dip the wine by his finger and sprinkle it on the ground, meaning to worship the ancestors of the host at first and wish good luck in everything of the host’s family, and then the host and the guest have a toast together.
In the old days, it was popular to get married early in Maonan nationality. The son was engaged by his parents when he was very young. There were such procedures in the marriage ceremony as “Song Dian”, “Chuan Er”, “Cai Men” and “Ren Qin”, in which the wine was indispensable. For example, in the Ren Qin ceremony, the female side shall go to the male family accompanied by her aunt, sister-in-law or chaperone, and the male family shall prepare two or three feasts to invite the aunts or uncles to meet the girl. At the wedding, when the guests reached, the leader shall go to the table set with a greeting bride shrine on it under the eave of the host’s family to worship the gods and have a toast, and then go into the room. At the wedding ceremony, the couple shall not perform formal bows but worship the ancestor and the eldership.

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