A unique ethnic minority of Yunnan Province, the Dai minority group has a population of over 1.14 million. Most of the Dai people live in Yunnan’s Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture and Xishuangbanna Dai Prefecture, and the rest inhabit valleys and basins along the Lancang River reaches. The Dai people worship the Hinayana Buddhism, and build Buddhist temples almost in every Dai-inhabited village. When celebrating their annual Water-splashing Festival, all Dai-inhabited villages would organize extremely colorful and bustling folk activities such as dancing the buoyant “Elephant-foot Drum Dance” and the graceful “Gaguang Dance”, holding dragon boat races, throwing pouches, tying blessing red threads on guests’ wrists and launching rockets.
In Yunnan Nationalities Village, the Dai Village occupies 27 mu of land, which is surrounded by water on three sides and planted with numerous trees. The Dai people’s ganlan-style, stilted bamboo houses are connected with the holy Buddhist temples by meandering, red-gravel paths. The magnificent White Pagoda, the rain-sheltering pavilions, wells and bell pavilions dotting the village have not only added to the intense Dai folk customs, but also reproduced true-to-life scenes of real Dai villages.