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Third Month Street Fair

Bai is an ethnic group with a long history and unique culture inhabited in the Bai Autonomous Prefecture of Dali, Yunnan Province. The Bais have their own language, which belongs to Tibeto-Burman, a language group of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Most of them know Chinese.

The Street Fair is grandest show of the year for the Bais. Held from the 15th day to the 21st day of the third lunar month every year at the foot of the Mount Diancang Shan, west to the ancient city of Dali, the Bais are holding the festival mainly pray for a good harvest. The traditional commodities traded at the fair are horses, mules, tea, medicines etc.

The Third Month Street is also called the Market of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, for a legend that in the period of Nanzhao State (938-1253), the Goddess of Mercy came to Dali to speak on Buddhism on the 15th of the third lunar month, and then the Third Month Street became a temple fair for loyal believers to pay homage. Another name is the Moon Street, for another legend that the third princess of Dali fell in love with a young fisherman. On the 15th of the third lunar month, the two went to the moon to buy fishing net and other working instruments but returned home empty-handed. However, its most famous name is Third Month Street.
In addition to the exchange of commodities, there are horse racing, performance of operas, folk singing and dancing, attracting tens of thousands of visitors, including those from other Chinese ethnic groups as well as tourists from over ten countries and regions. Moreover, the Third Month Street Fair is also an occasion for love. In Dali, there is a famous place for people in love to visit, the Butterfly Lake. A romantic story said a young couple, after going through all the hardships, jumped into the lake simply to keep their love alive and transformed into butterflies.

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