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Dai People Festival


Yunnan Xishuangbanna Dai Ethnic Water Splashing Festival Tour


Dai People / Dai Ethnic / Dai Minority / Thai People is the biggest ethnic group in locality, has a population of around 280000, accounting for 35% of the total of Xishuangbanna, most of them live in the basins that river crosses, where land is fertile and water is abundant, engaged in rice growing or other cash crops. Dai is the most civilized ethnic group compared with other minorities in this region, they have written language that evolved from Sanskrit and systematic knowledge which was brought in with Buddhism around 800 years ago. Theravada Buddhism is the prevailing religion of Dai, temples can be found in almost every Dai village, their religion is tightly combined with their education and life, Dai established their knowledge system through Buddhism, and they have been passing it down and inheriting it same way.


This is New Year of Dai people, the most important festival of Xishuangbanna. Different from normal New Year, they celebrate it not at the end nor beginning of year, but in June, the middle of year. make sure not to be confused, Dai's June is April of the Gregorian calendar. Water-splashing Festival lasts 3 days, from April 13th to 15th.
 

April 13th, the beginning of festival. There will be a big gathering of people on dried-up shoal of the Mekong, people dance, sing, have dragon boat race, fire bamboo rockets to celebrate the last day of one year. Dragon boat race is the main dish of today, which starts at 13:00 as curtain-up of festival celebration, racing teams from different Dai villages will have vehement competition in the river to push festive atmosphere of today  to  a climax. In the evening, a firework show would be given and traditional flying lanterns would be let off as farewell to last year.
 

April 14th, It's very interesting, this is a day that doesn't exist in Dai's calendar, it's regarded as an empty day without anything in schedule, when Dai people think they should just enjoy their leisure. A festive fair will be opened by villagers, normally in Manting Park at the edge of town, which once was the private garden of former Dai royal family and where New Year party used to be held. On this day, women are shopping on the market and men are drinking with friends at home, well dressed-up youth are wandering in crowds looking for their princes or princesses.


April 15, today is the new year day and last day of celebration, as well the high light of festival. Water-splashing revel will be full day, with barrels, basins, water guns and even fire hydrants, people are enjoying their most thorough relaxation in one year. Without difference of age, gender, or difference between host and guest, everyone in the street will be soaked and nobody will be angry, there is only joy and happiness. Dai people bid good wishes to each other through clear water, they believe clear water can purify spirits of human, bring good luck and happy life.


 

Dragon Boat Race

Dressed Up Dai Ethnic People

Water Splashing

 

 

 


Yunnan Xishuangbanna Dai Ethnic Closing-Door Festival & Opening-Door Festival Tour

 

This is more a fast than a festival, since activities of festival are closely related to Buddhism and daily life. From the middle of July, farmers will come into a busy rice-harvesting season, they must concentrate on their agricultural work, at the same time, fulfill their social and religious obligations in the village. During this period, Dai people have to abide by some traditional taboos, not allowed to do far outgoing, not allowed to stay out, not allowed to get married...There will be Theravada Buddhism ceremonies at quite frequent intervals in the village, normally every 7 days, families will take turns to gather in their temple with offerings, to worship Buddha and make beneficent donation, listen respectfully to monks' chanting and pray for good life in the future, the aged will even stay in temple for a few days to deliver themselves of their loyalty to Buddha.  Such confinement and obligation will continue for 3 months till the middle of October, The beginning of this period is Door-closing and the end is Door-opening.

 


Offering Procession


Monks

Praying


 

 time£º2014-09-25 19:00:07

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