Depending on what time of year you choose to travel to Yunnan, there are a number of fascinating festivals, which can give you a further insight into some of the minority cultures in Yunnan.
Water Splashing Festival
A unique festival, the Dai ethnic minority of Xishuangbanna celebrate their new year in April by splashing and spraying each other with water.
Although the official festival takes place in April it is possible to participate in the water spraying activity throughout the year.
Naxi Torch Festival
The Torch Festival is a traditional festival among Yi and Bai minority groups, the most famous of which takes place in Lijiang.
The celebrations last for 3 days and also involve singing, dancing, horse races, bullfights, arrow shooting, wrestling and tugs-of-wars. It is customary for every family to light a big torch in front of their doors for the 3 days.
The Sanduo Festival is a traditional festival of the Naxi ethnic group. Sanduo is considered to be the soul of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and during the festival the Naxi people gather around Sanduo Temple for a grand ceremony.
This ceremony involves a variety of entertainment and trade activities like horse racing, antiphonal singing, picnic and interchange of goods.
A trip to the hot springs is great way to relax here in Yunnan. On our courses we have access to some of the best hot springs in Yunnan, including Anning hot spring, which is one of Kunming's famous scenic spots and health resorts surrounded by high hills on three sides. There is also Tengchong hot springs - open-air hot spring pools with different features and cultural connotations. The temperature of the water ranges from 70℃-90℃ all year around.
Whilst on the course, you will also have the chance to try many activities, most of which are unique to China and form an important part of Chinese culture. The following is just a few examples of some of the activities on offer:
Calligraphy is an ancient Asian art, which in China is held to be a gift from the gods, and the divinely inspired letters and characters are objects of the highest veneration. This art form is still highly regarded in China and is seen as both a relaxing and philosophical past time.
Although Chinese cooking is now often practiced at home in the West, there’s no better way to learn new skills from local experts! Each province has a unique culinary style and you have the opportunity to learn how to cook some of Yunnan’s most popular and delicious delicacies.
Kung Fu/Tai Chi
Although kung fu is technically a martial art and its long history certainly has its roots in combat and war, kung fu is much more than the punching and kicking. Kung fu can be a great way to exercise and help vitalise the body, as well as helping with general relaxation.
Green Music Festival is one of the many music festivals that take place throughout the year. Others include Chenjiang Lakeside Music Festival, Lijiang’s Snow Mountain Music Festival and Kunming Outdoor Music Festival. Music lovers will hear a variety of music including rock, rap, new wave, punk, psychedelic, pop, hip hop and more.