Unlike the city, in the rural area there is little entertainment or special activities. So the once a year, market festival in the county town becomes a must-go event for the villagers. Every year during the first 2 weeks of December, more than a thousand villagers hiked to the township and then get on trucks for 40 minutes ride to the county town.
We wanted to understand this phenonmon as well so we joined the crowed and headed down to the county town as a family. As there are so many people, we fit about 9 people in a space for 4. the market festival basically takes up an entire wide street about one kilometer in length. There are wholesalers from all of the province that sells all sorts of goods for very low price, some even lower than in wholesale places the big city. Our guess is that these are all the rejects or surplus goods that no one wants in the city.
We got into the spirit as some of the items are really cheap. There was a stall that sells everything for RMB 1 (USD 15 cents). We bought about 40 items there (for a grand total of USD 5.80) ranging from nice black board marker to ceremic bowls to head bands to forks and plates to glue. Jon also bought a fleece long john for about USD 1. Nathan got a thick winter pant for USD 2.
There were also lots of nice snacks and different children play things. We didn't go on those play rides because compared to what we had experienced in S. America, they didn't seem that exciting.
It was fun to greet the Yi minorities that we have come to know these past 4 months there. It made us feel at home knowing so many people as we follow the crowed up and down the street. It was also interesting to see these villagers in their ethnic custom looking at modern clothings and shoes.
We came back to the village with all sorts of strange things and neat stuff that we'll be using for the Christmas party later!