Gengma County Festivals and Events
In 2010, Population of Gengma Dai and Wa Autonomous County was 296,300, and the population of ethnic minorities was 150,100, accounting for 50.67% of the total population. Among them Dai people was 56,900, 19.21% of total population; the population of Wa people was 45,800, 15.45% of total population. Dai and Wa are main ethnic minority groups.
Festivals and Activities in Gengma County.
1. Water-splashing Festival(泼水节)
The Dai is a minority that worships water, their biggest festival is water-splashing festival. It is the New Year of Dai calendar, is celebrated in the middle of April, lasting for three days. The main activities during the festival are gathering will, sand pile, water sprinkling and so on.
2. Worship to Water God(祭祀水神)
It is a folk worship ceremony of Dai. At the beginning of the spring farming every year, the farm ditches should be repaired to worship the water god. It is designed to pray for a good harvest.
3. Door-opening Festival and Door-closing Festival
It is the festival with faith. Buddhist culture has already infiltrated and integrated into the Dai culture. Door-opening festival and door-closing festival are the most important religious activities for the Dai people. The two festivals are mutually connected. The door-closing festival is the 15th day of lunar June. After three months of Buddha dharma teaching, the door-opening festival is coming.
4. Qingmiao Festival(青苗节)
It is the traditional festival of Wa people in Sipaishan Township, Gengma County. From 20th May to 21st May, the festival is celebrated. It is a worship for local Wa people to pray for a good harvest and a prosperous future.
5. New Fire Festival
Celebrated in every Lunar December or January, it is the annual festival of Wa people. It means ring out the Old Year and ring in the New Year.
6. The Sowing Festival(播种节)
The Sowing festival is held around the 15th day of the 3rd lunar month every year. At this day, Wa people will choose a good day to start sowing. At night, Wa people eat and drink around the bonfire to pray for good weather for crop.
7. The New Rice Festival
The festival is held in the middle of the eighth lunar month every year. When the grain begins to ripen, the head gathers the respected elders to decide a good day for celebrating the harvest.
8. Handmade Paper of Dai(傣族手工造纸)
The paper making process of Dai people can be said to be the "living fossil" of paper technology. This technique, together with the Naxi handmade paper technique, entered the first national intangible cultural heritage list in 2006, named as "Dai and Naxi Handmade Paper Technique". The Dai project sites are Mangtuan Village in Mengding Town and Mangshi Village in Yongde County.