From the ancient times, Hainan was known as "Coconut Island;. Coconut is a peculiar plant fo Hainan, and it places an important role in peoples life. With its highly nutritional value, coconut can be eaten fresh, made into coconut paste, milk, sweet and oil. Various kinds of sculptures and handicrafts are made from coconut shell. Coconut palms are planted all across the island both as economic and ornamental trees. The plams are traditionally planted around villages, along the road and in cities, big plantation can be found in some place.
April 3rd-7th, 1992, the first Hainan International Coconut Festival was held. The aim of the festival is "developing tourist industry, culture exchange, trade promotion, and further opening up". It attracts lots of tourists and businessmen at home and abroad with the characteristic of Hainan folk customs and culture. It fulfils the function of "let the world know Hainan and let Hainan go to the world step by step".
After that, the coconut festival is held annualy and it has become an influential celebration in Hainan. The festival is now a combination of touring, culture, customs, physical sports and trade. Besides the trade fair, the Hainan Collectors' Excellent Works Exhibition also attracted many professionals and amateurs. Coins, stamps, telephone cards, china and butterfly specimens were all on display. Restaurants in Haikou are also promoting the local culinary delicacies. Visitors can also sample Cantonese, Beijing and Sichuan dishes.
Another important activity is the March 3rd Festival of Li and Miao Nationalities held in Hainan's Dongfang city. A Li and Miao costume show drew the attention of visitors and local people alike, in the biggest show of its kind in 20 years. The March 3rd Festival culminated in the evening with the needfire show and a folk song performance of the Li and Miao Nationalities.