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Colorful Xishuangbanna

Meng Long Man Fei Long Sun Pagoda
Meng Long Man Fei Long Sun Pagoda, built in 1207 A.D., recognized and protected by the government as a national level ancient site
Xishuangbanna is a beautiful and magical place located in Southwest China.

There are many national minorities on this land and it has a long history. The natural resources abound with many plants and animals. A vast botanical garden is located here and is the source of medicinal plants. Today it has 1202.31 square kilometers of scenic areas and 150 places of scenic and cultural interest. National nature reserves cover 3.6 million acres.

The capital city, Yunjinghong, is at the center. The plants and animals are located north where one can visit Wild Elephant Valley, the tropical forest and subtropical primitive forests.

On the east side of the city, there are farms, traditional minority housing, and botanical gardens. On the west side, one can taste minority style food.

one tree makes a forest
The tree is 70 meters high, 120 square meters wide, and has 32 roots with each forms a single tree. Thus, it is called "one tree makes a forest".
Down on the Burma border is a small town, Xiaomengla, which can also be visited. It has a white pogada called Manfeilong. There are 240 areas where tradeis permitted across the border between the two countries.

In the city you can visit Chunhuan pard, the minorities cultural garden, tropical gardens, minorities custom village, and many other places.

Xishuangbanna depends on the tropical climate, natural scenery, brilliant multi-cultural minorities and contact with neighboring countries. Today the people in Xishuangbannatry their best to improve transportation, communications and natural resources as a foundation for tourism.

Minority Nationality Festivals

water springkling festival
merry water springkling festival

  • Dai People's New Year-- Water Springkling Festival

    The most important festival in Xishuangbanna is the Dai Lunar New Year, commonly called Water Sprinkling Festival, the Dai people usually have three days of unbridled celebration.

    On the first day are fiercely competitive dragon-boat racing on Lancang River (Mekong) and setting off giant skyrocket. On the second day are going to a fair and throwing love-pouches between young men and young girls to express their admiration for each other. On the third day, plashing water on one another in the hope of chasing away all the illnesses and bad luck of the past year and bringing about bumper harvests in the new year.

    The festival has its origin in the theme of titanic struggle between the forces of good and evil. As the story goes, once upon a time, the Dai people were ruled by a fierce and cruel demon who possessed magical forces. Knife could not kill him and fire could not burn him. He stopped at no evil.The demon-king had seven beautiful consorts, the youngest one was most clever and kind-hearted lady who wanted to help her people. One evening by offering the wicked king with wine and feigning loving concern, she extracted the secret of his vulnerability, "Though I am very powerful,if someone hang me by my own hair,I will die immediately," the demon said, "You must never tell anyone else. "When the demon-king dozed off, the brave maiden plucked a single hair from his head,wrapped it around his neck and pulled with all her might. Not only did the king die,but his head came off entirely. However, to everyone' dismay,from his head erupted the blood and fire, wherever the head went, the fire spread and it burnt the houses and crops. Flames threatened to engulf the entire land.So in despair, each of the holding the head while the others poured water on it to wash away the blood and quell the flames. After 999 days, finally seven ladies took turns put out the fire, and peace and tranquility returned to the land. Since then the Dai people have celebrated the Water Sprinkling Festival in memory of these seven ladies. The people hope to wash away the illness, ignorance and obstacles of the past year, and to welcome a happy and lucky new year with abundant harvests and numerous cattle.

    There are two ways of Sprinkling. Usually people dip an olive branch into a basin of clean water and spill a few drops onto the heads of others.The other way is to throw basins of water onto entire bodies of others. You must not walk away, sprinkling water represents the Dai people's gifts to others. You must not walk away,the more water sprinkled, the greater blessings and happiness for you.

    Water Springkling Festival, San kan bi mai in the Dai language, is the Dai people's favorite. It falls in middle April.

    Yao people bite hand to be betrothed
    Yao people bite hand to be betrothed.

  • Yao People's Pan Wang Festival

    The New Year of the Yao nationality people is called Pan Wang Festival. From October 6th to 8th of the lunar calendar, the families held a feast on which they kill pigs and cows and drink mellow wine. Singing and dancing, everyone has a great time.

  • Lahu People and their Lahukuo Festival

    Lahukuo is Lahu people's New Year, on which Lahu villagers would be busy slaughtering pigs,brewing rice liquor, steaming new year cake and doing other preparation work.

    The most interesting programme is Scrambling For Fresh Water. On the morning of the first day in new year, every Lahu family would try to be the first one to get the fresh water of new year with bamboo container. Fresh water in new year symbolizes purity and happiness. He who gets the fresh water of the new year first would be lucky and free from calamities.

    On the festival, a great occasion of group dance with reed-made pipe music could be observed in Lahu village, people gather in an open court, hand in hand in a circle singing and dancing.

    Hani people dance in Gatangpa Festival ceremony
    Hani people dance in Gatangpa Festival ceremony

  • Gatangpa Festival of the Hani Nationality people

    A branch of the Hni people living in Xishuangbanna named themselves Ai Ni. From January 2nd to 4th is the Gatanpa Festival. The festival is the occasion for the Ai Ni people to honor their ancestors, bid farewell to the outgoing year, and reunite with other members of the family. During this period, young people usually get together in their best dress, singing and dancing. They would also climb the mountains to pick wild flowers and fruit and to have an enjoyable time.

  • Jinuo People's Temaoke Festival

    Temaoke festival is the most important festival of the Jinuo people. The festival is held from January 6th-8th on the Gregorian calendar. The festival is rich in meaning. During the festival, Jinuo people of all ages put on new clothes, form a circle, beat their gongs (dru), and dance. This starts in the morning and continues through the night.

    This festival marks the time of year when young men choose a trade. They ask an experienced older person if they can apprentice under them. Blacksmiths, carpenters, and farmers all mark this time during the festival. A song is sung to tell the history of the nationality.

  • The Closing the Door Festival and the Opening the Door Festival

    The Closing the Door Festival is held in mid-July. It is one of the main religious activities of Theravada Buddhism. The Dais gather in the temples and donate to Buddha fresh flowers and coins. The Dai people then enter a period of austerity until the Opening the Door Festival, which falls in mid-October. Only then can they resume entertainment, and activities such as wedding ceremonies and the building of new houses.

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