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March Fair of Bai -  the biggest merchandise trading pageant

Date: 15th to 21st day of the third lunar month
Place: Yunnan Province
Activities: Held at the foot of Mt.Cangshan in Dali, Yunnan Province, the March Fair is the traditional grand festival for Bai ethnic minority and is renowned as a pageant for trading merchandise. Originally held for reciting the lections and offering sacrifice to Kwan-yin (a female Bodhisattva), it has now become a thriving fair that tens of thousands people from different regions attend.

This old ethnic carnival first appeared in Tang Dynasty has a history of more than one thousand years. The activities during the festival mainly include the trading of big cattle, herbs, special local products and daily necessities. During the festival, performers from different counties give wonderful performances in the street, staging Bai operas and playing music in the open. Riders of different nationalities will enter the horse race. This film shows the ethnic carnival full of enthusiasm.

History and origin

Currently there is no reliable record of the start of March Fair.. A local legend offers an interesting explanation which goes as follows:

At the beginning of the Tang Dynasty, the devil called Luocha occupy the territory of today's Dali and persecuted the common folk. During the zhenguan Period, Kwan-yin from the west(today's India) subdued the devil and save people from the suffer. Ever since, people would gather at the ancient town, offering vegetables to Kwan-yin. Even though the legend fails to give a reasonable and convincing reason on the history of the occasion. It at least shows the fair was at its first stage related to religion.

Now March Fair has become a prosperous commercial fair with tens of thousands of participants and a total volume of trade of over ten millions each year. Besides the Bai ethnic people, other minority groups such as the Yi, Tibetan, Naxi, Nu, Hui in that region will all throng to the fair that day. During the March Fair, the streets at Dali town is compete with temporally stalls selling a mind-boggling variety of items. Ethnic minority souvenirs.

  1. Major Festivals of Ethnic Minorities in China
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