Water Splashing Festival of Dai Ethnic Minority in Dehong

The Water-Splashing Festival is a traditional festival for the Dai people in the Dehong area of Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province in the southwest of China. It is the New Year for the Dai, a festival to send off the old and greet the new. It lasts three or four days.

Held during the sixth month of the Dai calendar, usually falling in mid-April of the Gregorian calendar, the Water Splashing Festival is also known as the Festival for Bathing the Buddha.

During the festival, the door of every house is decorated with multicolored pieces of paper. All the villagers dress in their holiday best. Sheep and cows are slaughtered for feasting, plus delicious glutinous rice cakes, rice noodles, and rice wine. The occasion is marked by a variety of entertainment, including singing and dancing, fireworks displays, boat racing, exhibiting Kongming (air-borne) lanterns, bathing the Buddha, and parades and fairs. But the most popular event is water-splashing.