Two Dai girls pour water into an urn during a water splashing ceremony in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in 2010. [File photo]
The drought lingering in Yunnan has put a damper on New Year festivities of the Dai people, who normally celebrate by splashing each other with basins of water during their annual Water Splashing Festival.
According to Duan Jinhua (段金华), undersecretary of publicity department in Xishaungbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, the theme of "water saving" will be shown in this festival this year. He said, people are called to gather on the water-splashing square near the Langcang River. The splashed water will be pumped from the river and recycled to the river at last.
The duration of the festival, which is usually half a day, will also be cut to two hours this year.
Xi is a typical Dai girl living in Mangshi City, Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture. She celebrates the water festival with her family every year. But they pay attention to the water saving these years considering of drought. "Water splashing is a way to express wishes. What really matters is the festival atmosphere but not the quantity of the water," said Xi. She said the water crisis has never cooled down the festival atmosphere, but makes it lovelier than that before.
Yang Fuquan (杨福泉), vice president of Academy of Social Sciences in Yunnan, has been researching customers of Dai ethnic group. He said that the festival is to Dai people what Spring Festival is to Han people. On account of the drought, people splash as little water as possible. They will have to splash just a little water as a symbol.(Editors:Lynn, Minnie Mao)
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