Lijiang City is located in the northwestern portion of Yunnan and borders Sichuan. It is in a region where the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau converge.Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Lijiang north and south of Dali Bai minority autonomous prefecture, west of Nvjiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, eastern border connects to Sichuan Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture and Panzhihua city. Lijiang has a total area of 20600 square kilometers, and governed Lijiang Ancient Town, Yongsheng county, Yulong Naxi Autonomous county, Huping county, Ninglang Yi autonomous county.
Lijiang includes the heritage site of Lijiang Ancient Town as well as picturesque nearby surroundings. In 1998, Lijiang Ancient Town was inscribed into the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Commission of the UNESCO. The Commission called it 'an exceptional ancient town set in a dramatic landscape which represents the harmonious fusion of different cultural traditions to produce an urban landscape of outstanding quality.
◎ Lijiang History
Lijiang is located under the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Lijiang Dayan ancient town has nearly one thousand years of history, is the national famous historical and cultural town and the first ancient town in our country that listed into the world cultural heritage list. It fully embodies a harmony between man and nature, characteristics of multi-culture diversity. It is a living cultural ancient city yet.
Lijiang ancient city was built in the early Yuan dynasty (late of the 13th century) and Lijiang's ancestor family Mu moved the rule center from Baisha to Lion Rock now. It has been a history of more than eight hundred years. Lijiang ancient city is located in the main traffic artery of Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet. Frequent business travel activities in ancient times made the local prosperous, soon to become famous fair and town. It is generally believed that Lijiang city first established in the early Yuan dynasty.
The late Ming dynasty Xu Xiake's Yunnan Travel Diary described Family Mu’s tusi mansion in Lijiang Ancient Town was very beautiful that just secondary to emperor’s palace. And Lijiang was filled with houses, buildings that placed closely side by side, and the fair there was very buse which showed that the Lijiang ancient town was famous at that time. Lijiang ancient town was the location of Lijiang military and government office of the Ming dynasty and the Qing dynasty. Ming dynasty regarded Lijiang as Dayanxiang, in Qing dynasty it was called Dayanli, and after the republic of China it changed as Dayan town.
◎ Administration Distribution
Administrative Division: The government of Lijiang City sits in Gucheng District. Lijiang City comprises one district and four counties.
Population: It has a population of 1.1376 million. (2005)
◎ Custom and Culture
Ancient Naxi music
Naxi Ancient Music is the crystallization of the art created by the Naxi people influenced by the Confucianism and Taoism as the representative of the Central Plains civilization.The instrument has a flute, clarinet, reed flute, Nanhu (another kinds of erhu), Chung-hu, Dahu, Sanxian (three-stringed instrument), Pipa (four-stringed Chinese lute), Guzheng (Chinese zither), Chinese gong chimes, bell, conch, drums, Suona, trombone, cymbals, Lusheng and Kouxian etc, among them, there are a lot of instruments incoming from China mainland.
Naxi Dongba religion is Naxi primitive religion transited to a man-made religion. As many as 30 kinds of Dongba ceremonies are the main carrier of the Naxi Dongba culture, with the content of the hieroglyphs recorded in Dongba scriptures through various rituals, and passed down by religious ceremonies. These rituals try to interpret the contradiction between human and society and human and nature which is closely related to the Naxi ancestors production life and is rich in cultural connotations.
"Heaven worship", "sacrifice to wind", and “sacrifice to Ding Ba Shi Luo" and so on are representative.
God Su Ceremony
"Suzu" is the Naxi traditional wedding ceremony, also called "Baomabao".
Naxi people believe that everyone has their own god- God Su. God Su enshrines in every family Su basket. Under the auspices of Dongba, god will be invited come out from the bride’s home Su basket and come to the bridegroom family Su basket, and combine with other members of the family of bridegroom, never separate from now on. Wipe ghee in the bridge and bridegroom’s head is the most important part of the ceremony.
Famous Ming and Qing dynasty temple murals is the "Lijiang mural" or "Baisha murals”. It is the crystallization of the development of Naxi national culture during Ming dynasty feudal lords economic prosperity. These murals distribute in Baisha, Dayan town, Shuhe, Zhonghai, Yangxi, Xuesong and so on more than ten of the village temple.