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Kunming Local Culture

Kunming Local Culture


The weather, water and soil in Yunnan are distinctive. While located in the middle of Yunnan, Kunming is richly endowed with nature. There, the flowers blossom in a riot of color regardless of the seasonal changes. In the winter, roses remain showcasing their delicate charm and even in January, roses are still blossoming. Thus, a saying goes like this in Kunming, “Flowers can be found everywhere in the city.” The flowers blossom year round contributing to its fame as “the spring city.” Kunming also boasts the biggest flower trading market throughout the country and its daily export-import volume tops all places in China.

When it comes to flowers in Kunming, a place that can’t be missed is the flower market in Shangyi Street. Crossing the central area of the city, Shangyi Street is characterized by its French architecture. Today, it has become the biggest flower market in Kunming. A saying vividly depicts the atmosphere in the market as the “Flowers are sold by catty.” Flower is the symbol of the city, a mundane detail of the local lifestyle and a way for the people to express their emotions. Flowers are rich in meaning in this region including its role in occasions such as birthdays, festivals, weddings, showing care to patients, visiting relatives and friends, and expressing feelings between lovers. In daily life, the local people pick up many flowers on the way home after work, elaborately trim and arrange them in a vase to decorate their homes.

Important Festivals

The Golden Hall Temple Fair

Time: The ninth day in the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar

The traditional golden hall temple fair is held in the Golden Temple Park. From the eighth to the tenth day in the first month of Chinese lunar calendar, the Fengming Hill swarms with pilgrims from around the country. Various specialties and famous local delicacies as roasted rice cake, canned rice-flour noodles, cold broad-bean-flour noodles and cold rice pastes can be seen everywhere from the foot to the top of the hill. The temple fair is just as lively as it is elsewhere. On the occasion of the temple fair, there are a wide range of famous specialties, local food and flowers competing with each other in beauty. In addition, there are different kinds of entertaining activities and popular performances.

The Yi Torch Festival

Time: June 24 (Chinese lunar calendar)

The traditional Yi Torch Festival is held in Shinan County, Lunan. Visitors can experience the festive atmosphere in the Stone Forest Scenic Spot. During the festival, from village to village, the local people prepare lavish meals, traditional attire and gather in a certain place to celebrate the festival. In the daytime, they have such activities as bullfight and wresting. At night, they gather to light up torches and pile them up like a “fire pagoda”, around which they sit, sing and dance. What an exultant picture!