Water Splashing Festival

Published:  11:07 Monday - December 06, 2010 At the time when Bo ma, a variety of wild flower that is used as an offering of the Thai ethnic people to Then (genies), and hundreds of varieties of wild flowers are in blossom and the area of Pu Nho Kho Mountain is full of festive atmosphere, Thai people in Khong Lao Commune, Phong Tho District, Lai Chau Province jubilantly prepare for several traditional festivals.

Probably the most observed festival is the Water Splashing Competition. Although nobody knows the exact origin of the festival, for the Thai ethnic people of Vietnam it is a gala that raises community harmony and spirit.

 

At the time when Bo ma, a variety of wild flower that is used as an offering of the Thai ethnic people to Then (genies), and hundreds of varieties of wild flowers are in blossom and the area of Pu Nho Kho Mountain is full of festive atmosphere, Thai people in Khong Lao Commune, Phong Tho District, Lai Chau Province jubilantly prepare for several traditional festivals. Probably the most observed festival is the Water Splashing Competition. Although nobody knows the exact origin of the festival, for the Thai ethnic people of Vietnam it is a gala that raises community harmony and spirit.


The teams participating in the competition consist of the strongest men and women
from the hamlet with the hope of winning the prize.

 

The sorcerer offers Bo ma flowers to invite Then to participate in the competition with the villagers.

 

Before the competitions, teams participate in catching fish in their traditional ways.

 

The water splashing competition of Thai ethnic people in Nam Lum also attracts a large number of Dao people in Ma Ly Pho and Mong people in Dao San.

 

When the competition ends, teams often splash water from the stream, thought to be Then water, on audiences.

 

According to the Thai ethnic people, the village team winning the competition will have a bumper crop the following year.

 

The competition is held between numerous hamlets in the area and each hamlet has a team that includes both females and males. There is no limit to the number of players each team can have and the goal of the competition is to get the rival teams as wet as possible and not fall down. The Thai people believe that during this competition, the wetter they get, the more prosperous and luckier they will become.

  

The competition held at the sacred Lam Lum Stream (according to Thai folklore the stream was put there by genies), often attracts the participation of thousands of people who dress in their colourful traditional outfits. During the most solemn rite when the old men start praying, all participants seem to perceive the harmony of heaven and earth and have a strong belief that a bumper crop will follow the festival.

 

Old artisan Lo Pau in Khong Lao Commune who plays a Tinh musical instrument at the Then festivals and ancient dance performances of the Thai people, said: “As usual, every year when the competition finishes, it often rains for 30 minutes.” According to their belief, the genies provide rain to nourish the fields and also join the splashing competition.  

 

The festival is the harmonious combination of spiritual desires and reality, bringing about happiness for each person. It is one of the unique festivals of Vietnamese ethnic people that need to be preserved and promoted.

(Source: Vietnam Pictorial)

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