Entries tagged with “Xishuangbanna”.


 The Dai

  The Dai people mainly live in the Xishuangbanna area in Yunnan Province. It has beautiful mountains, a mild climate, abundant rainfall, and there are bamboo forests, coconut trees and banana trees everywhere. In the vast primeval forest, there are many rare birds and unusual animals. Pretty peacocks often dance gracefully along jungle trails or beside a brook. Thus, people call the place which the Dai people inhabit “the Land of Peacocks”.

  Dai people have traditionally lived in two-storied bamboo stilt house, the upper story for living and the lower for storage and feeding livestock. Their villages contain many temples. Generally when a Dai boy is eight or nine years old, he will be sent to a temple as a monk for a period.

  Dai clothes are generally made of cloth woven by the local women. Men wear a collarless short Chinese jacket, long trousers and white or blue headpiece. Women like to wear a short jacket with tight sleeves and straight skirt covering the instep; they usually coil their hair on top of the head with a beautiful crescent comb.

  The Water-Sprinkling Festival is an annual grand festival for the Dai ethnic group. In the morning, they take a bath and then dress carefully before going to the temples to wash away the dust for the Buddha, and then sprinkle water on each other as a symbol of auspiciousness. Supposedly, the more water one is sprinkled with, the happier one will be in the forthcoming year.

  The Dai people are good singers and dancers. During their numerous festivals, they play the mangluo gong and the xiangjiaogu (drum on a pedestal shaped like an elephant’s leg) and dance the graceful Peacock Dance to celebrate the festival.

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A big-leaf banyan tree growing in tropics and subtropical zone is located 3.5 km south Da Luo town near the boundary of China-Myanmar, with the height of 28 meters, the history of 900 years, the covering area of 120 square meters which acts as both a fence and a green protective screen.

Some aerial roots will grow from the trunk of the big banyan tree to whose base they would twine. Through the branches of the banyan tree breaks 32 aerial roots that are hanging down into the earth to be an aerial roots jungle. These straight aerial roots stand in lines like the soldiers who protect their motherland at the frontier, which makes people respectful. Therefore, the One-Tree-Grove scenery in Da Luo town is indispensable for the tourists to Xishuangbanna.

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The Water-sprinkling Festival happens in the middle of April (the sixth month on the Tai calendar) and lasts from three to five days. It is a favorite festival of the ethnic groups of Dai, Achang, De’ang, Bulang, and Wa. Celebrations include dragon boat racing and water sprinkling. It is believed that the water sprinkle onto someone or even get him or her soaked will bring that person good luck. The tradition of water sprinkling originates from a legend of seven young women who killed a monster that they were forced to marry. They cut its head off with his own hair. However, they had to hold its head by turns because the head would produce flames when it touched the ground. The girls would pour water over the girl who had held the monster’s head for the past year in order to wash the monster’s blood stains from the girl’s clothes.

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