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Gannian of Zhangjiajie
2016-12-20 16:49:31  Zhangjiajie Tourism Information Website  

The Tujia minority in Zhangjiajie area has a unique custom to celebrate their new year: if the last month of the lunar calendar has 30 days, they would celebrate the new year on the 29th in lunar calendar;if the last month has only 29 days, they would set the 28th as day for celebration. Tujia people called the new year celebration one day ahead of New Year’s Eve as “Gannian”. There was a popular folk story on “Gannian” among the Tujia people.

It was said that in the 33rd year of Jiajing Reign in the Qing Dynasty (1555 A.D.),Japanese pirates kept on harassing and attacking China’s southeastern seaboard. Minister of the Qing Dynasty Zhang Jing reported that to the imperial court, asking for deploying soldiers from the western Hunan and Hubei provinces to help suppress the pirates, which got approved by the emperor.

Under the imperial order, Chieftain of Weimao post in Yongding county Tan Yaozhi with his son Tan Chengkun led other soldiers to quell the pirates at the end of the lunar year. As Tan Yaozhi knew it almost impossible for him to return, he decided to celebrate the New Year with his family two day ahead of the traditional new year in case he would die in the battlefield. As time was limited, the soldiers stewed cured meat, toufu, and carrot together in a pot namely, “Hecai (all dishes together)”, and marched to the battlefront. They defeated the enemies and regained the lost territory in no time.

Ganian reflected Tujia people’s lofty vitues of always taking the overall situation into account and willingness to sacrifice themselves to the country.

Keyword:Zhangjiajie Folklore & Culture & Customs