Water Splashing Festival
Water Splashing Festival is the new year in the Dai Calendar.
It is held on April 13 to 18 once a year. It is similar to
Thailand's Songkran, three days of unbridled festivities in
which everybody gets doused with water.
The Water Splashing Festival is the grandest
ceremonial occasion for the Dai, the De'ang and the Achang
nationalities who believe in Theravada Buddhism. It is also
known as the Festival for bathing Lord Buddha. The festival
is related to the Buddhist legend of dragon sprinkling fragrant
showers on Lord Buddha at his birth. The Buddhist legend has
gradually been mingled with the customs of the Dai people
since their conversion to Buddhism.
At present, the Water Splashing Festival
is a traditional festival for the Dai people in Xishuangbanna
and other places. On that day, Dai people splash water on
each other to celebrate the New Year. Water is the symbol
of holiness, goodness and brightness. Dai people regard water
as the god of life on which everything depends to live and
grow. Water Splashing Festival usually lasts three or four
days. People take part in the rowing dragon-boat race, launching
Gaosheng (a kind of mini rocket) and fire lamps. Young boys
and girls throw colorful pouches to each other for expressing
their mutual love. Water splashing is the most exciting of
all. People splash water onto each other as a symbol of benediction.
The more water one is splashed with, the bigger benediction
an ancient and mysterious, beautiful and colorful land displays
its charisma to you like a green peacock dislaying its fine
tail feathers. You will be intoxicated by its sight and nationality
customs when you visit.