Dali Holiday Calendar – April 2014

Xiaojizu Singing Festival – April 2

March 3rd of the lunar calendar is the first day that local people sing the Bai minority songs, and there is a singing performance held in Bao He temple, south of Wan Qiao county. Bao he temple is called Little Ji Zu mountain which located in Bin Chuan County, northeast of Dali prefecture.

Kaiqutou – April 2

On the third day of the third month on the lunar calendar, members of the Bai minority will dress in extravagant ethnic clothing. The name of the festival comes from the name of the “Kaiqutou” melody they sing. Kaiqutou literally means opening the head of the melody. The song and the celebration are meant to bring a good harvest for the coming season.

A Prince’s Send Off – April 2

The origins of this festival come from a Nanzhao era legend about princess Jin Gu and her husband. They were married in the Dali valley, but princess Jin Gu thought she was too ugly to meet the prince’s parents. The prince went back to his home on Weishan to see his parents, but without his bride. He left on the third day of the third month on the lunar calendar, so every year on this day people of the Bai minority will wake up very early to give him a send-off.

Qingming Festival – April 5

Qingming, also known as the Tomb Sweeping Day, is a day to remember one’s ancestors. Every year on this day, Chinese families will go to their ancestor’s tombs to sweep away old debris, tell their ancestors how things went the past year, and pray for the next year.

“March Market” Festival – April 14 to April 20

A huge market once a year from the 15th to 21st of March on the lunar calendar. The festival dates back to the Tang Dynasty, and it was originally meant to commemorate the Goddess of Mercy. The market attracts both Chinese and Burmese. One of the most popular products sold here is jade, but vendors sell a wide variety of items, including local delicacies. There is also a singing competition.