Yunnan has the most number of ethnic population in China, with 25 ethnic minorities including Bai, Yi, Dai, Naxi, Hani, Miao, Tibetan, Hui and Yao. Yunnan offers a unique and exciting experience of ethnic customs, with more than 400 ethnic festivals celebrated throughout the year.
The ethnic minorities maintain their unique folk traditions and customs full of myths, singing, dances, paintings and ancient music. China Highlights has listed the following ethnic festivals worth attending while visiting Yunnan. See Our Festival Tours, or simply let's customize a tour for you.
Dali, Apr. 21 to 27, 2016
Also known as the Kwan-yin Fair, March Fair is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Bai Ethnic People in Dali in southwest China's Yunnan province. During the March Fair, the streets at Dali town is compete with temporally stalls selling a mind-boggling variety of items. Ethnic minority souvenirs.
Lijiang, Jul. 27 to Jul. 30, 2016
The Torch Festival is a traditional festival among Yi and Bai minority groups. It is also known as the Oriental Carnival. Among those torch festivals, the most famous one is the Lijiang Torch Festival. According to the ancient rule of Naxi people, the Torch Festival should last for 3 days. According to the rule, every family should light a big torch in front of their doors for the 3 days.
Xishuangbanna, April. 13 to 16, 2016
The annual Water Splashing Festival of the Dai ethnic minority falls during the New Year celebrations of the Dai Calendar. It is the most important festival observed by the Dai ethnic people of Xishuangbanna Prefecture, and, similar to neighboring Thailand's Songkran Festival, it involves three days of celebrations that include sincere, yet light-hearted religious rituals that invariably end in merrymaking, where everyone ends up getting splashed, sprayed or doused with water.
Lijiang, Mar. 16, 2016
The Sanduo Festival is a traditional festival of the Naxi ethnic group. The festival takes place on the 8th of the second Chinese lunar month. During the festival the Naxi ethnic people gather around Sanduo Temple (also known as Beiyue Temple ), located in Baisha, Lijiang, for a grand memorial and scarified ceremony.
Dali, May. 29 to 31, 2016
This activity is called Guanshanglan in the Bai language. It is a carnival for the Bai people in Dali to entertain themselves during the slack season for farming. It is also an occasion to welcome the coming of immortals from heaven. This event dates back to ancient times and was originally a religious ceremony. The three temples involved are the Chongsheng Temple, the Shengyuan Temple, and the Jinkui Temple. See moreWorship Gathering In The Three Temples .
Read more on Chinese Festivals and Events.
If you are interested in ethnic minority festivals, Yunnan should be your top choice. See our Yunnan tours below for inspiration: