Jinghong Culture

Jinghong Ethnic Culture is diverse and colorful. It is a place where multi-ethnic groups inhabit. Different nationalities create different cultures. Jinghong city offers amazing Dai culture, temple culture, cultures of ethnic festivals, etc. All these will make  Xishuangbanna Travel more attractive and impressing. 

History of Jinghong

In 1269 of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), Jinghong Kingdom was changed into Cheli Army and People General Government which was re-changed into Cheli Xuanwei Shisi (pacification office) in 1384 of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In 1570, the commissioner of Cheli Xuanwei Shisi divided its territory into 12 Banna (12 parts). In 1927, Cheli Xuanwei Shisi was made as Cheli County, and then was renamed as Jinghong County in 1958. Finally, it was upgraded as Jinghong City in 1993. 

More about History of Jinghong

Religion Culture

Dai Buddhism

Most Dai are followers of Theravada Buddhism, while some still adhere to their traditional of animist beliefs based on the notion that all things, whether animate or inanimate, possess a soul. The Blang in Xishuangbanna also believe in Theravada Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism was introduced into Dai areas of China through Burma and Thailand, more than a thousand years ago. The Dai were animists before they embraced Buddhism and their belief in natural spirits has remained alive. Most villages have temples. The Dai people exercise the religion sacrifices and activities in the temples and pagodas. If you want to know about the Theravada Buddhism and the architecture art of Dai temples, you shouldn’t miss the visit to the temples in Xishuangbanna, particularly the Zongfosi Temple, Mengle Temple, Manfeilong Pagoda and Jingzhen Octagonal Pavilion.

More about Temples in Jinghong

Hani Traditional Religion

Traditional Hani beliefs were a combination of animism, polytheism, and ancestor worship, but these beliefs varied by region. People all think that there is a supernatural mysterious force dominating nature such as wind, rain, thunder, electricity, earthquake and the phenomena of human's birth, aging and death. This mysterious force has two different attributes of "god" and "ghost" (spirit), and there is a difference between good and evil. In Jinghong of Xishuangbanna, ancestor worship and animism were important. The Hani are polytheists and they profess a special adoration toward the spirits of their ancestors. They are used to practicing rituals to venerate to the different gods and thus to obtain their protection. Some Hani also practice Theravada Buddhism.

Lahu Traditional Religion

The traditional Lahu religion is polytheistic. The Lahu worship a variety of gods and spirits. The most important god is Exia, creator of the universe and mankind, who determines the good or bad fortunes of people. The Lahu believe in a supreme god named G'ui Sha. Many Lahu villages have a temple consecrated to this deity. Buddhist monks from Dali in the early Qing dynasty introduced Mahayana Buddhism. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, some of the Lahu converted to Catholicism and to Protestantism introduced by Western missionaries.


Although the majority of Dai populations believe in Theravada Buddhism, there is still a small group of them following the Islam. This small group of Dai people is called "Paxi Dai" in Dai language, which means Dai people belonging to Hui ethnic group. They mainly live in Menghai County, if you are interested in the "Paxi Dai" culture, you can join a Muslim Tours in Xishuangbanna or visit the mosques in Xishuangbanna.


There are also Christians in Jinghong, including Han Chinese and other ethnic minorities. The Christian Association of Jinghong City, Xishuangbanna is also founded for better and well development and management. The major church in Jinghong city is the Manyun Church located at No. 5, Manyun Village, Galan Middle Road, Jinghong City of Xishuangbanna.

Dai Architecture Culture

Dai Stilted House

Dai residential house adopts a stilted model, with high, sloping roofs and adjoining open-air balcony, which is still the norm for most Dai villages nowadays. It is usually called as bamboo house (竹楼) or Dai stilted house for its construction material and style. The upper floors of the houses are perched on thick stilts while the area under the stilts, or the ground floor, is either open or partially walled. The ground floor area is used to shelter livestock and store food, while the upper levels are used as a living space. Its structure is perfectly suited to the weather and environment, as the Dai live in a very humid climate, and the living area is far off the ground to avoid flooding, poisonous snakes and insects such as mosquitoes. You can pay a visit to the taditional ethnic villages in Jinghong to have a close watch.

Dai Buddhist Architecture

The Dai people follow their traditional religion as well as Theravada Buddhism, and almost every Dai village has its own small temple built in the village site, with some large and popular ones in designated places. A Buddhist temple is the place where Buddhists gather to pray and engage in certain rituals. The average temple complex consists of a temple gate, a main hall, rooms for the resident monks to live in, and a special room for housing the drum. Large temple complexes will have a number of pagodas that are used as repositories for Buddhist relics. The interior and exterior of the temple buildings are often painted with panoramic murals depicting scenes from both Dai folklore and Buddhist history.  Dai style stupas, also called pagodas, which are built alone or as part of a Buddhist monastery or temple. The temples and pagodas were built and decorated in unique style. They are the dominant feature in Dai villages and differ significantly from the stupas of Han Chinese and Tibetans areas. There is a famous Dai stupa named Manfeilong Buddhist Pagoda in Mengfeilong village of Jinghong County, Xishuangbanna.

Dai Food Culture

Dai cuisine is mainly prepared by grilling, steaming, frying and boiling but some vegetables are eaten raw, particularly medicinal plants which are used to curb the effects of living in a high humidity area. Dai food features in spicy and sour tastes, much like Thai cuisine. such as sauerkraut(酸菜) and sour bamboo root shreds(酸笋). Besides, barbecued fish, shrimp, and crab are also popular with the Dai people. “Duosheng” (剁生) is a traditional dish, which is made by mixing minced raw meat with condiments like salt and hot pepper. The staple food of the Dai people is glutinous rice. They like to eat polished glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves. Rice cooked in bamboo tubes is also popular among tourists. The Dai people are especially fond of wine, and they usually make wine out of polished glutinous rice.

Read more about Jinghong Dining 

Puer Tea Culture

Xishuanganna is a famous traditional commercial tea producing area in Yunnan, particularly Menghai County. The Six Puer Tea Mountains is now well known to tea lovers at home and abroad. Although Jinghong is ranked lower to Menghai County concerning the Puer tea fame, there are also tea mountains in Jinghong. In addition, thriving tea industry boosted the spreading of tea culture,  there are increasing number of tea houses arising in Jinghong City of Xishuangbanna. Jinglan Tea Shopping Center and Teahouses in Gaozhuang Xishuangjing Scenic Area are the famous ones.   Puer Tea Culture Tours to tea mountains and tea factories are also popular among tourists.

Folk Art

Pattra-Leaf Scripture and Dai Literature

There are two categories of Dai literature: Buddhist scriptures and Dai literature. The Dai Pattra-leaf Literature can be broadly divided into three parts: recording, sorting and classifying as well as recomposing the ancient oral literary works of the Dai people. It also includes introducing literary works from various ethnic countries that believe in Theravada Buddhism and works created by Dai intellectuals trained by Buddhist temples.

Big Drum Dance of Jino People

The Jinos regard the wooden drum as the embodiment of divinities and the symbol of the village, and believe that it can bless and protect the whole village and bring prosperity and abundant harvests. Their dance 'Echeguo', which means Big Drum Dance, is also famous. It is performed by a group of some 20 young men and women, formerly a tribute to the gods performed only by men. The dance is often performed at religious rituals such as celebrating ceremonies of building a new house and on certain festival occasions.

More about  Big Drum Dance

Folk Song of Hani People

The Hani people are good at singing. They have created many folk songs from generation to generation, the contents of which came from their daily life, production life, etc. Four Seasons Production Ditties is one of the representative ones which the Hani people created for the production life.

More about Four Seasons Production Ditties of Hani People

Ethnic Festivals

Jinghong festivals and activities tell you what to do during the festival tour in Xishuangbanna, and they will surely enrich your Yunnan Travel.  Jinghong is a place where multi-ethnic groups inhabit. The main minorities are Dai, Hani, Lahu, Yao, Hui, Yi, Miao and Zhuang, etc. Different nationalities create different cultures. Therefore, there are diverse festivals in Jinghong. Each ethnic minority in Jinghong has their own unique festivals to celebrate such as the The Water Splashing Festival and Closing-door Festival & Opening-door Festival of Dai Minority, “Gatangpa” Festival of Hani Ethnic Minority, The Spring Festival of Lahu Ethnic Minority, Temaoke Festival of Jino Ethnic Minority, etc..

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Ethnic Groups in Jinghong

At the end of 2010, Jinghong had a population of 399,200. According to the investigation, up to date, there are mainly 13 ethnic minorities living in Xishuangbanna Dai Prefecture, including HanDai, Hani, Yi, Lahu, Bulang, Jino, Yao, Miao, Hui, Wa, Zhuang and Jingpo. Among them, ethnic minorities are 280,100, accounting for 70.17% of the total population, with Dai(138,500; accounting for 34.68% of the total population), Hani(70,300; 17.62%), Lahu, Bulang(8,230; 2.06%), Yi, Jinuo(29100; 7.28%), Yao, Zhuang, Hui and Miao.

Ethnic Towns in Jinghong

  • Jingha Hani Ethnic Township(景哈哈尼族乡), Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
  • Jinuoshan Jinuo Ethnic Township(基诺山基诺族乡), Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan

Traditional Ethnic Villages in Xishuangbanna

  • Luote Old Village(洛特老寨村), Jinuo Ethnic Township, Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
  • Manchunman Village(曼春满村), Menhan Town, Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
  • Shizijie Street(十字街村), Yiwu Township, Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
  • Manfeilong Village(曼飞龙村), Menglong Town, Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
  • Manzha Village(曼乍村), Menghan Town, Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
  • Manjingbao Village(曼景保村), Gesha Town, Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
  • Bapo Village(巴坡村), Jinuo Ethnic Township, Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
  • Baka Old Village(巴卡老寨), Jinuo Ethnic Township, Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
  • Zhalv Village(扎吕村), Jinuo Ethnic Township, Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
  • Bayazhong Village(巴亚中寨),  Jinuo Ethnic Township, Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
  • Mengman Village(勐满村民小组), Dadugang Township, Jinghong, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan

Intangible Culture

As of 2018,  Water Splashing Festival,  Dai ZhanghaSlow-wheel Pottery, and Big Drum Dance of Jino Ethnic Group have been announced by the State Council as the National Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Read More:

Culture Tours Including Jinghong

Tea Culture Tours

Ethnic Minority Discovery & Festival Tours

Cross-border Culture Tours