Chinese Nation – Dai nationality

Dai nationality,  also known as Thai, Shan, etc., whose language is Dai language (Thai), belongs to the Zhuang Dai branch of the Zhuang Dong language group of the Sino Tibetan language family.
Dai people regard peacocks and elephants as mascots, and their folktales are rich and colorful. Dai people like to live by the water, love to be clean, bathe frequently, and women love to wash their hair. Therefore, they have the reputation of “the nation of water”. In the past, Dai people generally believed in Theravada Buddhism and primitive religion.
Dai people are distributed in China, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and other countries. In 2000, there were 1.159 million Dai people in China. They mainly live in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Dehong Dai Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, and Gengma and Menglian autonomous counties. The rest are scattered in more than 30 counties, including Jingdong, Jinggu, Pu’er, Lancang, Xinping, Yuanjiang, and Jinping. The frontier Dai area borders Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam.
Dai nationality the Water-Sprinkling Festival


In terms of religion, the frontier Dai people generally believe in Theravada Buddhism, which belongs to Hinayana Buddhism and retains the remains of primitive ghost worship. The Dai people in the mainland worship “Dragon God” and “dragon tree”. There are religious professionals such as “Bo Meng” and “Shi Niang” who do divination and treatment for people. In Jinggu and other areas, there are also believers in Theravada Buddhism.
the Water-Sprinkling Festival of Dai and some other minority nationalities.
Water splashing Festival is a traditional Dai Festival. In Dai language, “sangkan Bimai” or “lenghe sangkan” means new year in June. Time in the Dai calendar in late June or early July (Gregorian calendar in mid-April). Held about 10 days after the Qingming Festival in the lunar calendar, it symbolizes “the best day”. The festival period is generally three days. The first two days are to send off the old and the last day is to welcome the new. In the early morning of the festival, the men, women, and children of Dai villages bathed and dressed up to visit the Buddha in the Buddhist temple. They piled sand in the temple to build four or five pagodas. Everyone sat around the pagodas and listened to the Buddhist Chanting. After that, the women each took a load of water to “wash the dust” for the Buddha statue. At the end of the ceremony, the young men and women withdraw and pour water on each other. Then they marched around in groups, splashing pedestrians with blessings. During the water splashing festival in Xishuangbanna every year, the Dai people hold a huge dragon boat race on the Lancang River. After the race, the dragon boats are disassembled and put into the bamboo buildings of Buddhist temples for safekeeping. Before the water splashing Festival comes the next year, the disassembled dragon boats are assembled, which is called “Hanoi”.
Dai nationality building


Dai people are the people who make and use black pottery the most. Xishuangbanna, Pu’er Zhenyuan, and other places are the main producing areas of black pottery. Due to the good air permeability of black pottery, it can not only keep the cool feeling of water but also keep it cool when it is used to store water in hot Dai township for a long time. There is also a water dropper used for praying for good luck. There is usually a small hole at the foot of the pillar in the Buddhist temple of Dai nationality. According to the situation of the water drop, divination is made. If there is any bad luck, ask the Buddha to chant scriptures for it. The raw material of black pottery is a kind of black soil unique to Dai township. It is made by mixing it with certain sand and clay, and then kneading and pressing it.
After drawing or firing, the pattern is made by hand. Black pottery is usually plain, with a smooth surface and fine texture. Pot is the most popular utensil produced and used by red pottery. It is called “moving” in the Dai language. It is generally large and unique in shape. It can be used to hold water and rice. It can avoid the risk of decay in hot conditions. It is a necessary utensil for all Dai people. Red pottery is made of local red clay, brick red, mixed with a certain amount of sand, thoroughly kneaded, pounded, and mixed with a wooden mallet, and then hand-drawn with a self-made turntable. After the billet is pulled, pat the simple pattern on the patterned wood, put it under the shed to dry in the shade, and then burn it after drying in the shade.


The staple food of Dai people is rice. Dehong area to eat japonica rice, Xishuangbanna and other places like to eat glutinous rice, usually is now Chung eat. Dai’s famous bamboo rice, also known as bamboo tube rice, is made by putting glutinous rice in a bamboo tube, soaking it in water for 15 minutes, and baking it with fire. When eating, beat the bamboo tube to make it soft. The bamboo film on the inner wall of the bamboo tube is pasted on the rice. When you cut it in half with a knife, the fragrant bamboo rice will come out of the bamboo. The aroma is rich and the rice is soft and delicate. There is also a unique pineapple purple rice, which tastes sweet and delicious, and has the effect of nourishing blood and moistening lung. Workers who go out often eat in the wild. They use banana leaves to serve a group of glutinous rice with salt, hot pepper, sour meat, roast chicken, Tammy, and moss pine. The meat includes pigs, cattle, chickens, and ducks. They don’t eat or eat less mutton. They are good at roast chicken and roast chicken. They like to fish, shrimp, crab, snail, moss, and other aquatic products. Vegetables often eaten are cabbage, radish, bamboo shoots, and beans.
Dai people also eat insects. There are many kinds of insects in the Dai area. The insect that often edible has cicada, bamboo insect, big spider, field turtle, and egg to wait. Cicadas are caught in the summer evening. When the cicada community is in the grass, the cicada wings are soaked in dew and can’t fly. The women quickly pick the cicada into the bamboo basket and bake it in the pot to make a sauce. Cicada sauce has the functions of clearing away heat and toxins, removing pain and swelling. The Dai area is rich in bamboo, and there are many bamboo insects. People find bamboo that has been eaten by bamboo insects in the bamboo forest. They cut it along the upper section, and the pupae are among them. Most of the time, they can get a small bowl in a bamboo section. Chop up the pupae, add fried rice flour and seasoning, dip them with lettuce, boil them with water for a while, fry them in oil, and fry them with eggs. They are crisp and delicious. Dai people also eat ant eggs, which are produced by rhubarb ants growing on trees. Ant eggs are mainly cold, washed, and cooked in boiling water, then add garlic, salt, vinegar, and other seasonings, plus their favorite vegetables to eat.
It is a special dish of Dai nationality to use moss as food. The moss for Dai people to eat is the moss on the rocks in the river in spring. Dark green is the best choice. After taking it, tear it into thin slices and dry it in the sun. Wear it with bamboo strips for use. When cooking, the thick one is fried in oil, the thin one is roasted in fire, crumpled into a bowl after crispness, then pour the boiling oil on it, then stir it with salt, and dip it with glutinous rice or bacon.
Dai people have the custom of eating flowers. There are more than 30 kinds of Wildflowers, such as Panzhihua, Tanglihua, Baidujuan, Huangfanhua, best flower, plantain, Kuliangcauliflower, Erythrina, Canary, egg flower, Quichuaa, Curvularia, Pandang, and a kind of flower called “moxie” in Dai language.
Raw, fresh, sour, spicy, and wild are the characteristics of Dai cuisine. Dai people believe that eating sour heart, refreshing eyes, helping digestion, can also relieve heat and fever; eating sweet, can increase heat, relieve fatigue, prevent hepatitis; eating spicy, can open the appetite, increase appetite, enhance body resistance, prevent colds and colds; eating raw, fresh dishes, delicious and comfortable. In Dai Flavor, acid is the most delicious. All dishes and snacks are mainly sour, such as sour bamboo shoots, sour pea powder, sour meat, and wild sour fruit. The most common food is sour bamboo shoots. Cut the fresh bamboo shoots into shreds, put them into the water, and then soak them in water. After that, put them in a big jar, press them tightly, seal them, and keep them for half a month until they become sour. Dai people can’t live without them for a day. Dai flavor seasoning is very unique, such as shaping, Nami, etc.
Wine is loved by the Dai people. It is usually brewed at home with a low degree and sweet taste. Tea is a local specialty, but Dai people only drink big leaf tea without spices. When drinking, stir fry slightly on the fire until scorched, brew, and drink slightly with paste flavor. The habit of chewing betel nuts is also very common. Chewing betel nut to mix with tobacco, lime, all day long.
Dai nationality food

Clothes & Accessories

(1) Women

Women traditionally wear short sleeves and skirts.
Dai women in Xishuangbanna wear white or crimson underwear with a small waist, wide hem, and colorful skirts.
Before marriage, women in Mangshi, Dehong, wore light-colored blouses, trousers, and small aprons. After marriage, they changed to short shirts and black skirts.
The clothing of Dai women in the interior is similar to that in the frontier, but it has regional characteristics, so it is often called “Huayao Dai” and “Daxiu Dai” by other nationalities. For example, the Dai women in Xinping, Yuxi City, tied their skirts with special flower belts more than Zhang long, hence the name “flower waist Dai”. Their clothes are mainly black and red, with short coats close to the body and the upper waist. The neckline is made of fine silver bubbles to form a diamond pattern crisscrossed up and down. The waist is decorated with five or six meters of embroidered belts. They wear a peaked “chicken fir” hat with the brim up.
The unique headdress and dress of “Huayao Dai” are very similar to the characters on Dian bronzes unearthed from Shizhaishan in Jinning and Lijiashan in Jiangchuan. They have the common characteristics of Ji, short skirt and skirt, which proves that they come down in one continuous line.
Dai nationality people

(2) Male

Dai men wear short shirts with small sleeves without collar or big placket, long trousers, felt in cold weather, and wrap their hair with white or green cloth. The custom of men’s tattoo is very common, which not only shows bravery but also can exorcise evil spirits, protect the body and decorate the body.
When the boy is about 11 years old, he will have a tattoo. Most of the tattoos are tiger, leopard, lion, dragon, snake, and eagle. Most of the parts are limbs, chest, abdomen, and back. Generally, it takes two days to write on one leg and seven to eight days to write on the whole body.
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