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Butterfly spring of Dali

Travel some 27 kilometers south of Dali and you will come to a popular beauty spot known locally as the 'Butterfly Spring'. Situated at the foot of Mount Shenmo, the first of the peaks of Mount Cangshan the spring rises to form a square shaped pool that is shaded by the dense foliage that lines its banks. The pool is some 50 square meters overall and above it is an ancient decumbent tree. This is the famous 'Butterfly Tree', so called as in the short interval as spring turns to summer, its fragrant blossom attracts thousands of butterflies. These small multi-colored creatures fly around the pool and settle on the tree in great clusters as they sip the nectar from its blooms. The vast numbers of butterflies are hardly distinguishable from the flowers as the whole tree pulsates with every color of the rainbow. This spectacular sight has given rise to a local festival when the Bai people gather at the tree on April 15th for the 'Butterfly Meet'. The romantic spectacle of the butterflies as they feed and mate in such abundance has become a symbol of courtship and each Bai youth will seek to engage with the love of his life by joining in with the traditional antiphonal singing. The Bai also refer to the spring as the 'Allegiance Spring' as it is here that true and lasting love may be found.

Note: You can reach the Butterfly Spring by special cars that run from the bus stations and hotels in the city. The spring is quite near to Zhou Town, which is the largest of the Bai communities and was once the imperial garden of the Dali  Kingdom. Here, too, you can learn more of the Bai culture and visit some truly wonderful ancient buildings.

 

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