Gwer Sa La Festival, Yunnan (Village Market)Gwer Sa La Festival, Yunnan (Village Market)

“Another festival local to the Ta Li region, and in no way connected with any rite known to Chinese religious custom, is held in the spring. This festival is called in Min Chia “Gwer Sa La,” a name which cannot be translated as its meaning has been lost, the Min Chia themselves being unable to give any explanation of the words.”

“The festival also attracts the usual crowd of hawkers and itinerant vendors of fruit, melon seeds, cakes and sweetmeats, who establish themselves along the wayside to catch the custom of the waiting spectators. Mer Ger Yu, where the rites end, and which is also the nearest point to the city on the processional route, is crowded with visitors, who must be fed, and the day becomes a market of some importance drawing merchants from Hsia Kuan and Ta Li as well as from the villages across the lake.”

“…Bargaining is keen and shrewd. No one buys anything until every vendor has been visited, his wares prices, cheapened, and compared, and finally, after many return visits, when the price has been lowered by a nickel or two at most, the sale is made.”

“These fairs in fine weather attract very large numbers of people from the country and even from districts distant three days journey. During the morning all roads and paths leading towards the city are thronged with peasants and traders. Some of the goods sold are brought from districts fifty and more miles away.”

 “The street markets which open about ten o’clock in the morning, when the peasants reach the city, and are usually over by four in the afternoon, when the country people set off for the villages before darkness can overtake them on the way.”