Water-sprinkling festival marked in SW China

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The Water-Splashing Festival (Poshuijie / 泼水节 in Chinese), is the New Year’s or Spring Festival on the calendar of the Dai people, an ethnic group living in Yunnan’s south and southwest. This year, the festival takes place from 13. to 15. April.

The first day of the celebrations is called “Mac” in Dai language, which is comparable to Spring Festival’s Eve. The second day is called “Wangnao”. During these two days, dragon boat races take place, markets are opend and floating lanterns are set on rivers, especially on the Mekong. The third day, called “Ba Wang Ma”, is the actual New Year’s Day. It is the most important and spectacular day of the 3-day celebration and thus treated as the most beautiful and auspicious day. In the morning, Dai people put on their festive costumes, bring water to the temple to bath Buddha, then start splashing each other for good luck.

The Water Splashing ceremony, however, is more than just good-natured fun, it also contains a religious element: by the Dai, water is regarded as a symbol, firstly, of religious purification, but also of goodwill among people. Therefore, splashing others with water during the ceremony, whether a close neighbor, a fellow villager or even a stranger is an expression of the desire for good luck and prosperity to that person.

#CHINA-YUNNAN-XISHUANGBANNA-WATER SPRINKLING FESTIVAL (CN)

People sprinkle water to each other to celebrate the water-sprinkling festival at a square in Jinghong City, Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, April 15, 2017. People sprinkle water to each other to pray for good fortune during the traditional water-sprinkling festival, which is also the New Year festival of the Dai ethnic group. (Xinhua/Shao Bin)

#CHINA-YUNNAN-XISHUANGBANNA-WATER SPRINKLING FESTIVAL (CN)

CHINA-YUNNAN-XISHUANGBANNA-WATER SPRINKLING FESTIVAL (CN)

People sprinkle water to each other to celebrate the water-sprinkling festival at a square in Jinghong City, Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, April 15, 2017. People sprinkle water to each other to pray for good fortune during the traditional water-sprinkling festival, which is also the New Year festival of the Dai ethnic group. (Xinhua/Hu Chao)

A lot of visitors attend the Water-Splashing Festival in Xishuangbanna, where most of the Dai people live and the ceremonies are considered the greatest.(Xinhua)

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