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   Undertoad  Tuesday Aug 9 02:49 PM

8/9/2005: Water-splashing festival

Dateline: Jinghong, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Yunnan Province. The area is one-third Dai, which it seems is a Buddhist sect. This is their most important annual holiday. It's a water-splashing festival which is also called the festival for bathing the Buddha. And even though super soakers have apparently become commonplace, it's been going on a long time. From the full story,

Although there are numerous legends about the origin of the festival, one of the best known tells of the long-ago days when there was a devil in the village where the Dai people lived, doing all manner of evil. All the people hated him but his magic was too powerful for them to overcome.

One day in the sixth month, his seventh wife, who had been kidnapped from the village, tricked him into revealing his weaknesses. As he slept, his wives used his hair to cut off his head. But the head began to burn when it touched the ground, and the fire would die only if one of the women held the head tightly in her arms.

So the seven wives took turns holding the head, each for a period of one year. Every year when they changed, people would splash water on the woman who had been holding the head for the past year to wash away the blood and a year of fatigue.

As time went by, the ritual became a happy -- even raucous -- way to send off the old year and greet the new.

complete gallery of images

lookout123  Tuesday Aug 9 02:54 PM

where exactly is the line for the wet tshirt contest?

Elspode  Tuesday Aug 9 03:08 PM

This is what is wrong with religion in this religious holidays dedicated to a national waterfight.

In Detroit, there would be riots and burning despite all the water. In LA, there would be soggy bouts of looting. In Chicago, there'd be a big wet parade.

Never mind. This country can't handle a national waterfight.

glatt  Tuesday Aug 9 03:24 PM

I love it. This is awesome. I want to be there.

Trilby  Tuesday Aug 9 04:02 PM

Any excuse for a party! I like it! Nice that it happens in the summer, though, 'cause a winter water-fight would kinda suck.

Hobbs  Tuesday Aug 9 05:10 PM

You gotta love a country that has a national holiday that involves water pistols. Wata we have? Fireworks. *yawn*

lookout123  Tuesday Aug 9 05:37 PM

water pistols? who cares? how cool can it be if you can't permanently disfigure you and your loved ones with it?

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Aug 9 06:05 PM

Use a crossbow and icicles for that.
I'm not falling for that Budda story...I know it's all about nipples and always was.

Leah  Tuesday Aug 9 07:10 PM

Lucky for some, and certainly lucky for some countries. Us folks back here in Sydney are still on water restrictions and probably will be for the rest of our lives. It is a real waste of water thought (sorry to be practical)

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Aug 9 07:13 PM

So Leah, that means you shower with a friend.

Leah  Tuesday Aug 9 07:15 PM

I try to, but no takers at the moment.
It would save water, and I'm all for saving water.

busterb  Tuesday Aug 9 08:29 PM

Lady I may be old, but I can promise you all the water you could ever want. Anything else, sorry, might be out for lunch.

russotto  Tuesday Aug 9 09:17 PM

Maybe it's just me... but too much unsharp mask?

chrisinhouston  Wednesday Aug 10 12:31 AM

The little boy in the next to last image looks like the typical Maoist poster child image, all he needs is a little red book!

Needs some caption like "I will use my super soaker to fight for the motherland and Chairman Mao."

Elspode  Wednesday Aug 10 12:34 AM

I have just looked at Leah's picture in her profile, and I find it nearly impossible to believe that she cannot find a shower partner.

Leah, I think you must be letting silly things like attraction or thoughts of relationships get in your way. You need to take one for the team and get to doing some serious water conservation!

wolf  Wednesday Aug 10 12:58 AM

Originally Posted by lookout123
where exactly is the line for the wet tshirt contest?
Wet Cheong Sam contest, you mean?

Leah  Wednesday Aug 10 02:00 AM

It's not me with the problems Elspode believe me. I pick problem guys.

Trilby  Wednesday Aug 10 08:39 AM

Originally Posted by Leah
I pick problem guys.
My long lost sister! I've finally found you!
So, men act likes shits in Oz, too, eh? It's worse than SARS.

LCanal  Thursday Aug 11 06:42 AM

This is only one Prefecture. The April festival of Songkran Thai New Year in Thailand looks very similar except it is 3 days and nationwide. Traffic police have their radios and guns covered in cling film/saran wrap. Youths drive around in pickup trucks with buckets/pails, which they refill from an on-board water barrel, dousing "unsuspecting' passers-by at 40kph. Every bar in the kingdom is full of Super Soakers and it is impossible to stay dry. The “Not Amused” crowd usually book those 3 days at secluded resorts. Small children in rural areas have hand pumps, which resemble an old fashion bicycle pump, these when used in conjunction with a garbage can full of water are very effective.

Lookout. Some municipalities ban what they call "spaghetti" tops but school girls up to and including high-school still wear their tight white uniform shirts and are a favorite target.

capnhowdy  Thursday Aug 11 07:56 AM

the guy on the balcony redefines "supersoaker" with that 2800 PSI pressure washer.
I can't get over how colorful this and all eastern celebrations are. Can't accuse these people of being dull.......

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