Water-Splashing Festival

(redirected from Dai New Year)

Water-Splashing Festival (Dai New Year)

Mid-April
The Dai people of southwestern Yunnan Province of China celebrate the birthday of Buddha ( see Vesak) and the new year in the middle of April with the Water-Splashing Festival. In tropical Xishuangbanna, a land of elephants and golden-haired monkeys, the celebration begins with dragon-boat races and fireworks displays. On the second day, people visit Buddhist temples. The third day, which is New Year's Day, is the high point. Dressed in colorful local costumes, people carry buckets and pans of water to the temple to bathe the Buddha, and they then splash water at each other. The water symbolizes happiness and good health. It washes away the demons of the past year and welcomes in a new year of good harvests, better livestock, and increased prosperity.
CONTACTS:
Yunnan Tourism Information Center
4th Floor, Yunnan Zhijian Bldg.
76 E. Dongfeng Rd.
Kunming, Yunnan Province 650051 China
86-871-3210-972; fax: 86-871-3120-740
www.yunnantourism.com
SOURCES:
WildPlanet-1995, p. 301