Kunming Culture

Kunming is a multi-ethnic city with 26 ethnic groups living there. In the long period of production and life, different ethnic groups not only influence each other, but also maintain their own ethnic traditions, continuing many unique lifestyles, folk customs, culture and art. Ethnic groups living in Kunming are hospitable, capable of singing and dancing, and have simple folk customs. No matter their etiquette, unique food, colorful clothes, or different styles of residential buildings and interesting marriages custom, people can feel distinct ethnic characteristics.

History of Kunming

Kunming has a long history and splendid culture. It is one of the first 24 national historical and cultural cities published by the state council, with a history of more than 2,200 years and a civilization history of 3,000 years in the Dianchi lake region. Humans lived in the Dianchi lake region about 30,000 years ago.

B.C. 298-277, Chu general Zhuang Qiao leaded into Yunnan, arrived in Dianchi lake area, allied with local tribes, established "Dian Kingdom", and claimed to be "king of Dian". This brought the advanced culture and technology of Chu state and central plains, and played a positive role in promoting the political and economic development of Dianchi region, which was dominated by Dian tribes at that time. From the warring states period to the early eastern Han dynasty, the "Dian people" around the Dianchi lake established the state of Dian and created a unique "Dian culture".

Later on, Dianchi area experienced the baptism from Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties to the republic of China and the Anti-Japanese War. Until December 9, 1949, Lu Han led his troops to revolt in Kunming, and Kunming was declared its peaceful liberation.

More History of Kunming.

Religion Culture

Residents in Kunming mainly believe in Buddhism, Taoism and Islam. Surely, there are also Catholicism and Christianity. Religious believers are mostly ethnic minorities. There are many temples and mosques you can visit when you are in Kunming. 

Buddhist Temples in Kunming

Taoist Temples in Kunming

More Temples in Kunming.

Mosques in Kunming

More Mosques in Kunming.

Churches in Kunming

Kunming Food Culture

In Kunming, the picturesque nature enhances the delicious local food. Its cuisine is the representative of Yunnan cuisine, which combines the cooking styles of different cities and ethnic groups in Yunnan. Because of its high humidity and mild temperature, Kunming has abundant fruits and vegetables all year roundIn addition, there are many street snacks to choose from. Kunming cuisine is various and coveted. Whatever street snacks, barbecues, or elegant indoor restaurants all have local characteristics. Yunnan cuisine tastes similar to Sichuan food, with a strong emphasis on sour and hot dishes. Most notably, Yunnan people especially like to eat potatoes and fungi.

Ethnic Groups in Kunming

Kunming is a multi-ethnic city, with 25 ethnic minorities inhabiting here, such as Bai, Yi, Hani, Lisu, Dai, Miao, Hui, Zhuang. The hereditary ethnic minorities which form villages are Yi, HuiBaiMiaoLisuZhuangDaiHani ethnic minority and so on. Among them, Yi, Miao, Bai and Hui ethnic minorities are the main ethnic groups in Kunming. In Kunming, the unique natural landscape and ethnic customs blend together to depict a magical picture scroll.

Ethnic Towns in Kunming

There are 3 autonomous counties in Kunming: (Shilin Yi Autonomous County(石林彝族自治县), Xundian Hui and Yi Autonomous County(寻甸回族彝族自治县), Luquan Yi and Miao Autonomous County(禄劝彝族苗族自治县), as well as 4 ethnic towns in Kunming, namely, Shuanghe Yi Ethnic Town(双河彝族乡), Xiyang Yi Ethnic Town(夕阳彝族乡), Gengjiaying Yi and Miao Ethnic Town(耿家营彝族苗族乡) and Jiuxiang Yi and Hui Ethnic Town(九乡彝族回族乡). 

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Traditional Ethnic Villages in Kunming

At present, Kunming owns 20 traditional ethnic villages, mainly distributed in Jinning district. Here below are several of them. 

  • Leju Village in Tuanjie Sub-district of Xishan District, Kunming昆明市西山区团结街道办事处乐居村
  • Fuan Village in Jincheng Town of Jinning District, Kunming昆明市晋宁区晋城镇福安村
  • Tianba Village in Shuanghe Township of Jinning District, Kunming昆明市晋宁区双河乡田坝村
  • Nuohei Village in Shilin County of Kunming昆明市石林县圭山镇糯黑村

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Ethnic Festivals and Customs

The torch festival of Yi, the march street and "Rao San Ling(绕三灵)" of Bai, the water-splashing festival of Dai, the "Cai Hua Shan" of Miao, and the Sword-Ladder festival of Lisu have long enjoyed great fame and have colorful festival activities. Every time when festival comes, the masses of all ethnic groups will wear their own handmade embroidery and dyed ethnic costumes, holding wrestling, bullfighting, singing and other activities. In addition, the western hill Diaozi meeting on the third day of the third lunar month, golden temple spring outing on the ninth day of the first lunar month, the full moon in Daguan pavillion park at the night of Mid-Autumn festival and other customs are very popular among the people.

Intangible Cultural Heritages and Its Heritors in Kunming

With a large number of ethnic minorities, Kunming has many intangible cultural heritages with ethnic characteristics, including Yanglao Drum Dance, Sani embroiderythe Epopee "Ashima", etc. Every intangible cultural heritage has its inheritors, who play a vital role in the promotion and inheritance of culture.

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Culture Tours Including Kunming

Our culture tours include ancient Dian culture tour, tea culture tour and muslim culture tour, etc. You can choose different themes to discover ancient Dian culture, taste the famous Pu'er tea and Dianhong black tea, or learn about the history of Islam in China that dates back to the Yuan Dynasty.