The Water-Splashing Festival

发帖者 ADuu | 4/17/2009 03:52:00 AM | , , , | 0 评论 »

If you are stuck for a place Xishuangbanna and Dehong, which are home to the Dai ethnic group in the southwest frontier of China in Yunnan Province, might well be a good choice, as the annual Water Splashing Festival, a jolly jamboree to greet spring with water, will be observed there in the middle of April.

Similar to Thailand’s Songkran, the Dai people’s festival sees them splash water on each other to celebrate the New Year based on the Dai calendar, which usually falls in the middle of April.

The Dai also invite people from other ethnic groups and tourists coming from afar to splash water to celebrate the festival.

The Water-Splashing Festival was once a religious ceremony in Indian Brahmanism and was then absorbed by Buddhism and passed to the Dai region in Yunnan Province via Burma.It has enjoyed a history of seven hundred years up to now.

Legends about the origin of the festival abound. One of the best known tells of days long-ago when there was a devil in the village where the Dai people lived, doing all manner of evil. All the people hated him but his magic was too powerful for them to overcome. Then one day in the sixth month of the Dai calendar, his seventh wife, who had been kidnapped from the village, tricked him into revealing his weaknesses. As he slept, his wives used his hair to cut off his head. But the head began to burn when it touched the ground, and the fire would die only if one of the women held the head tightly in her arms.

So the seven wives took turns holding the head, each for a period of one year. Every year when they changed, people would splash water on the woman who had been holding the head for the past year to wash away the blood and a year of fatigue.

As time went by, the ritual became a happy -- even raucous -- way to send off the old year and greet the new.

[From chinaculture]

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