Dai Ethnic Group
Updated: 2012-08-10 14:50
Dai people love glutinous rice and hot and sour dishes. A favorite dish is bamboo rice, made by putting clean rice into a bamboo tube, adding water and soaking for 7 or 8 hours. Finally, the mouth of tube is covered with a banana leaf and the whole thing is roasted for about 12 minutes. The resulting soft, delicate rice emits a delicious bamboo fragrance and is a choice offering for guests.
Important Dai festivals are the Water-splashing Festival, the Door-closing Festival and the Door-opening Festival, all of which are related to Buddhism. The Water-splashing Festival is the New Year of the Dai ethnic group. On the 24th to 26th day of the sixth month of the Dai ethnic group calendar, people engage in traditional activities such as water-splashing and dragon-boating, hoping to pacify evil spirits and ensure a good harvest in the coming year.
The Door-closing and Door-opening Festivals are the two longest and grandest periods--one in mid-September and the other in mid-June. People worship Buddha by sacrificing food, flowers, sutra, clothes and other wealth. They also take advantage of the holidays to preach Buddhist teachings and have a good time.
The Huajie Festival (Flower Street Festival) is held on the seventh day of the first lunar month to say farewell to the past year and to greet the new one. On that morning, men and women, old and young, wear flowery new clothes and bathe in the hot spring. Unmarried young people also sing to each other in an attempt to find their future better half.