Monday, September 6, 2010

Touch Milk Festival

In a self-regulated village of Yunnan province, there is a peculiar festival that takes place in July affectionately called the "Touch Milk Festival", or 「摸奶節」.

Legend has it that July in the Chinese calendar is when lost spirits return to the mortal plane in search for havoc and mischief. For this village of Yunnan, many men went to war and perished at a young age before they ever had the chance to be with a woman. Thus, locals believe that in July, these lusty spirits return to terrorize untouched, virgin women with the purpose to take them back to hell and marry them. It's like Corpse Bride reversed

The village chief came up with a brilliant solution by sanctioning the "Touch Milk Festival". During the 14th, 15th and 16th of July in the Chinese calendar, single women of the village welcome men, both local and visitors alike, to touch their breasts in order to ward off lusty spirits for they will no longer be "untouched". Mind you though, only one of the women's breasts will be "touchable", for the other is said to be saved for her future husband. The "touchable" breast is easily recognized because it will be purposely exposed for the "Touch Milk Festival".

Now, I have searched high and low on the internet for pictures of this crazy-sounding chauvinistic festival in action, but all I could turn up are two noticeboards that is said to be plastered on the gates of the village:

There will also be celebrations of song and dance during this period to ward off spirits and lost souls, so I gather not all is lost even if "Touch Milk Festival" is merely urban legend or elaborate internet hoax.

Do you believe this to be real?

I'm not so sure myself but really wish it were. Thus, I intend to find out at "Touch Milk Festival" 2011! Who's with me?

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