Dali Holiday Calendar – May 2014
Tai Zi Festival – May 6
The Tai Zi Festival has over one thousand years of history, and “Tai Zi” means to be Shijiamouni. On one hand, the festival is to commemorate the Buddha, and on the other hand, it is to pray for happiness.
Butterfly Festival – May 13
Every April 15th on the lunar calendar, the local people of Xizhou will go to Butterfly Spring, which is close to the Zhoucheng Tie-Dye workshop. This day is also called “Valentines’ Day”. There was a movie called “Five Golden Flowers” that was shot here during this holiday, about two young Bai teenagers who fall in love.
Xizhou Rain Festival – May 13
On the fifteenth day of the fourth month, people of the Bai minority pray to the Dragon God to bring favorable weather for their harvest. According to legend, Xizhou’s Nine Alter Temple was built to end a drought. It was meant to give the gods a place to come together and implore the Dragon God to give the people rain. On this day people will come together to eat, drink, and pray to the gods. They also generally will place clay figures of gods in the Nine Altar Temple.
Hongshan Festival – May 12 to May 14
Hongshan Ben Zhu temple is located in Shuanglang County, and the local protectors are Wang Sheng, Wang Le and Wang Lekuan, three generations of generals of the Nan Zhao Kingdom. Local people called them collectively the “Chi Nan Ling Zhao Wei Guang Jing” emperor.
Every April 14th -16th on the lunar calendar, people from Xizhou, Zhoucheng, Wase and Eryuqn county will come to worship the local protectors. It is said that the local protector could transform into a green snake with a “King” Chinese character on his head, which implies that he will protect the local people from diseases and disasters.
Planting Festival – Mid-May
The Planting Festival has dancing and singing activities around the planting season, which is very popular in Er’yuan county, north of Xizhou town. Bai minority people regard heavy labor as a happiness, and the beginning of the planting season has a festive atmosphere.
Rao San Ling Festival – May 21 to May 23
The Rao San Ling Festival feels a lot like a local carnival. Local Bai people of all ages from Er Yuan, Bin Chuan, Wei Shan, and Dali get together to sing and dance all the way from Cang Mountain to Erhai Lake. The festival takes place on the 4th month from the 23rd to 25th on the lunar calendar. On the first day, people usually celebrate at Sheng Yuan Temple in Qing Dong Village. There is a busy market on the both sides of the main road of the village. Eveyone then moves through the main square of Xizhou, followed by a gathering at the Long Qing Temple in He Yi Cheng Village for the last day of celebrations.
Planting Rice Festival – End of May
The festival is popular in Er Yuan County, southwest of Erhai Lake. It takes place before or after the rice planting season. It links rice harvesting with singing, dancing, and other activities.