Festivals and Events in May in Yunnan Province

Yunnan Festivals in May introduces ethnic festivals and activities celebrated in Yunnan in May, such as Monihei Carnival of Wa ethnic group, Horse Racing Festival of Tibetan and Butterfly Festival of Bai people, ect. You can join our 4 Days Cangyuan Monihei Carnival Tour to experience the unique celebration of Wa people.

May in Yunnan is a time when the weather starts to warm up, and it’s an excellent period for festivals that celebrate the diverse cultures and traditions of the province’s many ethnic minorities. Here are some of the festivals and events that you might encounter in Yunnan during May:

  1. The Torch Festival (火把节): This is one of the most significant festivals for the Yi people, usually held in late May or early June. It involves lighting torches to ward off evil spirits, along with singing, dancing, and traditional sports like wrestling and horse racing.

  2. The Dragon Boat Festival (端午节): Although this festival is traditionally celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, which can sometimes fall in June, preparations and some related activities might begin in May. It commemorates the ancient poet Qu Yuan and includes dragon boat races and eating zongzi (sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves).

  3. Nadam Fair (那达慕大会): This is a traditional Mongolian festival that has been adopted by the Mongolian ethnic group in Yunnan. It features horse racing, wrestling, and archery.

  4. The Azalea Festival: Celebrated in various locations where azaleas bloom, this festival involves local ethnic groups and tourists in activities that celebrate the beauty of azaleas, with singing, dancing, and other cultural performances.

  5. The Miao Sisters’ Meal Festival (苗族姊妹饭节): This festival, akin to a Valentine’s Day for the Miao people, is a time for young men and women to seek love matches. It involves beautifully intricate dress, silver jewelry, and a unique custom of exchanging “sisters’ rice,” which is colored rice offered in silk pouches.

  6. Labor Day (劳动节): May 1st is a national public holiday in China, and while it’s not specific to Yunnan, you’ll find many celebratory events, travel activities, and a festive atmosphere during this time.

  7. Kunming International Cultural Tourism Festival: This event aims to promote tourism and cultural exchange, featuring a variety of performances, exhibitions, and trade fairs.

The dates of many of these festivals are determined by the lunar calendar, so they may vary each year. Additionally, events can be influenced by local customs, agricultural schedules, and government policies.

For those planning to visit Yunnan during this time, it is advisable to check with local tourism boards or event organizers for the most current information regarding festival dates and the specific activities planned.