Anyone know about the blueberry festival?
Anyone know about the blueberry festival?
The fruit is Yang Mei and they grow everywhere. The spiritual home of this fruit is over the mountains outside the NW of Kunming. There is only one road and like most Chinese festivals anyone with a car will be going. The road is not good, and traffic jams occur. It is less of a scramble and more of a drive out to pick your own. The season is very short.
Alternative, buy Yang Mei at the market.
But there is a 蓝莓节 in guiyang, majiang in july, consisting of blueberry wine tasting, the blueberry girl, picking, performances... Anybody have more info? I would like to go.
Yangmei??? This is not a blueberry... Lanmei 蓝莓 is a blueberry.
I do not know anything about Majiang nor their blue-berry festival, but a bit of googling gives this: www.chinadaily.com.cn/[...]
Quite apparently the festival is on July 21 this year. From the little information available, this is a festival held to drum up a bit of tourism rather than a traditional event.
These festivals are all very much alike with the main event being the opening ceremony, an almost TV-like show with presenters introducing a line-up of song-and-dance performances by the local minorities (in this case probably mostly Miao) and speeches by the leadership. The opening ceremony is either held the evening before or in the morning, with the side program of a market and fair attended by the local population. There will be TV and an increasing number of Chinese 'photographers' with rather expensive cameras.
If you are planning on travelling there, I would advise to arrive on July 19 at the latest to secure a room in a hotel, if you arrive just the day before everything might be booked. The day before the festival is often better for photos as the shows are rehearsed without the TV and spectators being there, so you can get closer to the performers. Arriving early you can also find out exactly when the performance takes place and what else is scheduled by asking for a programme 节目.
The actual performances are getting more and more professional. The best seats are always reserved for the leadership, but being a foreigner usually assures a way of getting into a good position (the trade-off is that you will be interviewed by local TV). If it looks like a rather large event, it helps to find someone responsible from the Culture Office 文化局 to get a VIP pass 贵宾卡. There is always good food laid on for the important people and showing up at the right time assures a free meal of local delicacies that you would not normally find.
While this might sound a bit jaded, these festivals are a good opportunity to see places where few (if any) western tourists go, get a few snaps of costumes now worn only for very special occasions with a bit of show on the side. Enjoy.
As for the local dances. One reason why they are getting more professional may be that they are not performed by local dancers, but by professional dancers. These will be able to perform stylised stage interpretations of ethnic dances.
Yang Mei - I do not know about the festival but I do know that May is the time for harvesting in Shiping, Honghe. I was there last year and you can get them very cheaply because the farmers all come to town to sell and there is plenty of competition to drive the prices down.
While in Shiping you can vist some nice places:
1 - Huan Wen Park
2 - Lao Jie - Old Street
3 - Qi He Lou in #1 Middle School
4 - Shiping Train Station - very much like - Bi Se Zhai in Mengzi
5 - Zheng Ying - A nice Old Town a few km away.
Lan Mei - Blueberry - Dali has some good blueberries in the last few years. Seems the plants are now mature and produce a better harvest.
Just picked up a lot of Yang Mei this week. The fruit comes from Fumin which has a very good harvest this year. This is really the first time I have purchased large, very sweet, and very red berries. Usually there is a mixed bunch of light red and dark red berries with a mix of sour and sweet berries.
I was out and about and paid 10 Yuan per kilo in Da Ban Qiao - very inexpensive!
Do not confuse these 2 items.
Yang Mei - Red bayberry.
Lan Mei - Bluberry.