Annual peony culture & tourism festival to kick off in Yunnan

An annual peony culture and tourism festival is scheduled to open on March 20 in Wuding County of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Yunnan province.

The peony garden on Shizishan (Lion Mountain) in Wuding, more than 2,400 meters above sea level, refutes the old Chinese saying that peonies can only be planted in Central China. Its blossoms are now a popular tourist attraction in Yunnan.

Emperor Jianwen of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), who was said to have become a monk on the mountain after he was deposed, planted the first peony. Nearly 7 hectares of peonies - of all types, with bigger flowers and longer blooming times than in Central China - now blossom every year.

The festival has been held from mid-March to early May for 20 years, combining the appreciation of peonies, tours of famed Buddhist mountain temples and displays of local customs.

Visitors can take a flight to Kunming, then a two-hour bus trip to Wuding. (Editor: Ryan Li)

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