Water Splashing Festival Held in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan

The Water Splashing Festival (Water Spray Festival) is the grandest traditional festival of Dai nationality.

During three days in the mid April every year, people bless mutually by splashing water and take an active part in activities such as dragon boat matching, singing and dancing.

The activities are very rich in the three Water Splashing Festival (Water Spray Festival) days. In the first day, people hold dragon boats match near the Lancangjiang River. That day, there are many long dragon boats on the surface of the river, painted with colorful wood-carved head of the dragon and dragon tail, installed in front and back of the boat.

When the boat raise starts, tens of oars fly up and down. On the boat, the shouted sound is so loud that it shakes the sky. Near the bank, the cheering sound is loud as well. People bring bowls and bowls of rice wine for the superior man and cast the candy to them. They dance the “Yilahe” happily, companioning with the happiness of victory and the sound of drums.

The second day is the grandest day – the Water Splashing Day. In the morning, all the men and women, old and young carrying buckets and basins to the streets. There are more people go to the riverside. Under the shining sun, they spray water to each others who participate in this grand meeting.

The person who got sprayed the most water and hared most will be the luckiest. Firstly, the old women of Dai nationality spray a little water on the olive leaf to people lightly. However, the sisters of Dai nationality often irrigate a big basin of water into people’s collar.

People pursue mutually from riverside to grove, from road to the bamboo building for living. Children run here and there with the basin buckled on the head and the fellows pursuing others, they are often sprays wet thoroughly by the girls standing on the platform of the bamboo buildings. In the evening, they will hold a grand entertainment party and sing, dance, set off fireworks and guess lantern riddles continuously till mid-night.

On the third day of the Water Splashing Festival (Water Spray Festival), the programs are even richer. Among them, the most brilliant are putting “Gaosheng“, throwing pouch, and dancing peacock dance. So-called putting “Gaosheng” is that a ring of bamboo tubes tied up on the tops of long bamboo poles.

The bamboo tubes filled with gunpowder, which will fly into the sky suddenly with a loud crash. According to the customs, people must place five things symbolizing suspiciousness into the biggest “Gaosheng”. The person who picks up these auspicious things will be lucky for the whole year.

In “Throwing Pouch”, people divide into left, and right two rows, one side is fellows and the other is a girl. A pouch sewed with colorful cloth and decorated with two ribbons is flying to the fellows. Every time throwing a pouch, they will cheer with love.

Throwing pouch is the expression of paying court to each other for fellows and girls. The girls throw the pouch to the fellow whom she loves. The pouches are flying with the wished for beautiful future and the heart admiring love.

The Water Splashing Festival (Water Spray Festival) is in the middle of April, so if you travel to Yunnan, April is the most suitable season.

The Water Splashing Festival in 2019 will be held on April 13, Saturday(the 9th day of the 3rd lunar month).