Emeishan Culture

Emeishan, named after Mount Emei, is an ancient city with a history of more than 1400 years and a profound cultural heritage. Mount Emei is one of the world’s natural and cultural heritage, a national 5A level scenic spot and one of the four famous Buddhist mountains in China. For thousands of years, the three cultures of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism collided, merged and evolved here, forming the Emei Mountain culture with Buddhism, martial arts and tea. Emeishan Culture introduces Mount Emei Culture Tour information about People, Language, Costumes, Cuisine, Festivals, Song and Dance, Traditional Crafts, Architecture, Museums, Religion, Historical Sites, Traditional Villages, Intangible Cultural Heritages and Inheritors of Intangible Cultural Heritages.

History of Emeishan

Emeishan has a long history of more than 2600 years. It belongs to the kingdom of Shu in ancient times. It was under the jurisdiction of Nan'an county (now Leshan City) in Qianwei county from the Han Dynasty to the two Jin Dynasties and the southern and Northern Dynasties. In the first year of Baoding, the emperor of the Northern Zhou Dynasty formally established Pingqiang county(平羌县). In the third year of Kaihuang of the Sui Dynasty, it was renamed Emei county. Historically, it belonged to Meishan prefecture. During the period of the Republic of China and after the founding of the people's Republic of China, Emei county was established. In September 1988, Emei County changed to Emei City. 

People of Emeishan

Emeishan City has ethnic minorities of Han, Yi, Tibetan, Qiang, Miao, Hui, Dong, Yao, Mongolian, Tujia, Susu, Manchu, Naxi, Buyi, Bai, Zhuang, Dai, etc. In 2010, according to the fifth national census data, the total population of Emeishan City is 423070.

Religion of Emeishan

For thousands of years, the three cultures of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism collided, merged and evolved here, forming the source of Taoism, the beginning of Buddhism and the state of Confucianism. Since then, it has formed Emei culture with Buddhism as its core. It is said that Buddhism was introduced into Emeishan in the first century AD. The religious culture of Emeishan, especially the Buddhist culture, constitutes the main body of the historical culture of Emeishan. All the buildings, statues, implements, rituals, music, paintings, etc. show the strong flavor of religious culture. Read more about Religion of Emeishan.

Temples in Emei Mountain

Folk Culture of Emeishan


The Buddhist music of Emei Mountain is not only a part of religious music in China, but also an important part of folk music of Emeishan. It reflects the specific historical era and people's social life from one side, and is a precious heritage in the cultural treasure house of the Chinese nation. The Buddhist music of Emei Mountain is performed by monks in Buddhist activities. Mount Emei is rich in Buddhist music. Now there are more than 100 pieces in use and more than 60 pieces in common use.

Martial Arts

Emei, Shaolin and Wudang have become the three major martial arts sects in the central plains. Among them, Emei Wushu pays attention to the late development and the early arrival, and uses softness to control rigidity. There are many theories about its origin, and the most widely known one is the Emei School founded by Guo Xiang in Jin Yong's martial arts novels. However, existing scholars believe that Emei martial arts originated in the Warring States period.


Backing the bride is the custom of Yi people's marriage. The day before the wedding, the groom sent his clan to act as the bride's welcoming party and invited many young people from the village to join him. On the other hand, the woman prepared thorns, cold water and pan ash, and invited many middle-aged women close to her to "stand ready". The bride is sent to her husband's home by the odd number of villagers from her maiden family. On the way, the bride's feet did not touch the ground. When arriving at the husband's house, the bride will be seated under the fruit tree in front of the house, and her second sister-in-law (the groom's sister-in-law, cousin, and clan sister) will comb her hair, symbolizing a happy marriage and a lasting blessing. 

Living Customs

Emeishan has many special living customs, including dragon gate, stepping on gate, hanging Tunkou(吞口), etc. Longmen Gate refers to the building connected to the courtyard built at the general entrance and exit of the courtyard. It is as big as a room and not occupied by people, only for people to enter and exit. When civil houses are repaired and built, the door stepping ceremony shall be held when the door is installed. Tunkou is an exaggerated and distorted human head image. It is said that this head image has the function of exorcising evil.

Festivals of Emeishan

Emeishan has a long history, many places of interest and scenic spots, resulting in a variety of festival and activities, which has become a unique scenic spot in Emeishan. Emeishan Festivals and Activities introduce a brief introduction of festivals and activities and tell travelers Top Things to Do for Emeishan festivals Tours.

Top Festivals in Emeishan

Cuisine of Emeishan

As the saying goes: A side water and soil raises a side people. Where we travel, there will be different delicious food. Emei Mountain, a famous scenic spot in China, has its own unique delicacies and snacks. Because Mount Emei is a holy land of Buddhism and Taoism, Vegetarian Feast is a major feature of Mount Emei. The vegetarian dishes in Emeishan temple include bean curd and bean products processed by soybeans, gluten and gluten processed by flour, and vermicelli and other delicacies. 

Must-Taste Food in Emeishan

Intangible Cultural Heritages in Emeishan

  • The Buddhist Music of Emei Mountain(峨眉佛教音乐)
  • Emei Tangdeng Drama(峨眉堂灯戏)
  • Emei Martial Arts(峨眉武术)
  • Emei High Pile Colored Painting Binding Technique(峨眉高桩彩绘绑扎技艺)
  • Mount Emei Damiao Temple Fair(峨眉山大庙庙会)
  • Emei Mat Grass Dragon(峨眉席草龙)
  • Production and Processing Techniques of White Wax in Emei(峨眉白蜡生产加工技艺)
  • Emei Lotus Flute(峨眉莲箫)
  • Emei Mountain Finger Painting(峨眉山指画)

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Edited by Hellen He/何琴