Religious meaning and symbol of harvest festival

Harvest festival is the collection of Amis original religious belief, without religious strength, harvest festival may have been lost for a long time. 40 years ago, when western religions have been introduced to each tribe, harvest festival is the biggest enemy for preachers for it is the biggest resistance for the spread of their religion. Nowadays there are still conflicts between them, and this has proved that harvest festival is a religious activity essentially. The final purpose of harvest festival remains the same, that is to pray for crop harvest, livestock prosperity, family happiness and drive out the evils and diseases, etc.



At harvest festival, the villagers will summon the gods to visit the earth and live together with them after welcoming the Gods ceremony, it is a traditional belief. 
Ciropanay (Rice god), Cimalataw (Numen), Cikakacawan (guarding god), Cimasra (Gnome), Cima'o'ol (Rain god), Cimacidal (Apollo), Cifaydongi (Life god), and Citato'asan

Taboos of harvest festival

1)General holidays
During general holidays people cannot work in the field, the family who has violated this may suffer crop diseases and pest damage.

2) Participant.
Women are not allowed in the male nighttime singing and dancing (welcome dance) or to eat meat, the offenders may catch woman disease.

3) Different villages will not join to hold the festival
For each tribe has different gods, if different tribes hold it together, the gods may conflict with each other and cause calamity to the tribe.

4) No singing or dancing is allowed usually
Harvest festival singing and dancing cannot be played at usual time, for the singing and dancing chosen for harvest festival is peculiar and cannot be performed in usual time, or even exercise. It could only be played in certain place and participants during harvest festival. The varieties of dances change with songs, certain dance is required for certain song. The leader of the singing and dancing will held a staff which represents full authority. During the singing and dancing, the participants have to obey the staff-carrier, who is also the oldest one of the team. When the leader is changed, he must pass this stuff to next one, the stuff-carrier as well as the guard symbolizes to prevent evil from interference. Crop damage may fall to the offender.

5) Cannot speak randomly
According to the harvest festival traditions of millet time, millet is the most fierce god, who has specific rewards and punishment to human, it is also the most troublesome crop and has many taboos, for example, people should be careful about their words when reaping millet, the words of "rest," "finish," "go home" and movements of breaking wind, hitting are not liked by the millet god.
With the time and social changes, the industrialization and urbanism have impacted the harvest festival evolution, and this has also made harvest festival show different characteristics in different regions.






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