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Filling-up-the-Storehouse Festival

The Manchu, with a population of 10.7 million, are the second largest minority in China. They are mainly distributed in Liaoning Province and scattered in the rest of the country. They has own language and letters, which belong to the Manchu-Tungusic group of the Altaic language family. China's last feudal dynasty, Qing Dynasty, was built in 1644 by the Manchu.

Manchu and Han basically share the same festivals and holidays, such as the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, etc. Nonetheless, they have the Fill-up-the-Storehouse Festival, which falls on the 25th of the first lunar month.

At this time of the year, the storehouses went empty. And in order to fill up the storehouses, people have to go to the fields and work. On this day, every family is cooking broomcorn which will be put in a bowl and symbolically placed in the storehouse.

Meanwhile, a toy horse made of broomcorn straws is stuck into the broomcorn. The horse, traditional carrier of corns for the Manchu, is meant to pray for a good harvest in the coming years. Some family will instead make two hoes at the occasion.

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