The Bai People’s March Street Festival is one of the most magnificent festivals of the Bai Ethnic Group in Dali, Yunnan, a province in southwest China. The festival, also called Third Moon Fair, is held from 15th to 21st of the Third Lunar Month (usually in April) annually.
Bai is an ethnic group with a long history and unique culture inhabited in the Bai Autonomous Prefecture of Dali, Yunnan Province. The Bai people believe that white represents dignity and high social status, and their love in white colour is seen in their traditional clothes. Women generally wear white dresses, sleeveless jackets of red, blue or black, whereas men like to wear white jackets, black-collared coats, and dark loose shorts.
Legend has it that there was a tyrant who had immortal life and ate the eyeballs of two individuals each day. In order to help local people to get rid of this tyrant, a brave young man with miraculous power tricked the tyrant into going to the foot of Mount Cangshan. There, the young man lets a divine dog bite off the tyrant’s throat to death. In memory of this brave man, and in celebration of the special day, the Bai people gather together and celebrate his bravery.
Though it started out as a religious celebration, the March Fair is now considered to be the largest gathering place for commodity transaction in western Yunnan Province. Huge crowds of people gather everywhere, where a wide variety of products medicinal materials, food, furniture, and livestock are traded. According to traditional customs, people trade with others in the daytime and enjoy singing and dancing in the evening, which is boisterous and exciting.
Nowadays, the festival includes a number of activities such as singing in antiphonal style, dancing, shooting, horse racing and all kinds of sports balls competitions. Various ethnic featured activities, including horse race competition, fairs and local operas are staged during this 7-day festival.
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