Yunnan -- Land of Eternal Spring

Yunnan is one of the most colorful and fun places I've travelled to in China. The climate in this region is pleasant and many attractions -- the food, dances and handicraft of the many folk tribes are something I'll never forget.

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Excerpt from A Musical Journey: From the Great Wall of China to the Water Towns of Jiangnan, Chapter 9, Yunnan -- Land of Eternal Spring

“I shared (this book) with three of my children and they loved it. My adopted daughter is from Yunnan Province so I was delighted to see Yunnan represented in your book." Lynn Warner, KY


Yunnan means “South of the Colorful Clouds”. Legend has it that 2,000 years ago the emperor saw rosy clouds in the southern skies and sent scouts to search for the source. The area where the clouds appeared was renamed Yunnan.

This area is mostly mountains. In the northwest, Yunnan borders on the Himalayas. This region has the mildest climate (average temperature 8 to 20 degree Celsius) in China and plenty of plants and flowers. Hence Yunnan’s nickname “Land of Eternal Spring”.

Yunnan has the largest number of minority tribes -- 26 -- in China. They include the Bai, Yi, Miao, Dai and Naxi.

The Golden Peacock is the symbol of Yunnan. It is found in southern Yunnan in the forests of Xishuangbanna, home to the Dai tribe. Many wild animals long extinct in other parts of China, such as tigers, elephants, and rare birds, can be found in Xishuangbanna.

The Dai live in houses built on stilts. In mid-April each year they celebrate the New Year by splashing water on each other during the Water Festival.

The old town of Dali in northwestern Yunnan is the home of the Bai people. For 1,000 years the Bai have been making tie-dye cloth. This cloth is blue with lovely white patterns. It is made by soaking cloth sewn with thick knots in indigo dye.

Each year at the Butterfly Spring thousands of colorful butterflies hang on the branches of an ancient tree that hangs over the water. Legend has it that a pair of lovers turned into butterflies, rose from the spring and flew away happily. Bai boys and girls come to the Butterfly Spring to celebrate their courtship.


New Folk Music from A Musical Journey

The bamboo dance is a popular dance among the minority tribes of Yunnan. Dancers move deftly between bamboo poles accompanied by the rhythmic beats of copper and wooden drums.


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