On April 13, the Dai ethnic group in south Yunnan Xishuangbanna Prefecture ushered in the 1380 New Year according to their traditional calendar. Together with tens of thousands visitors, they celebrated the annual happy occasion with varied activities, including water-sprinkling, dragon-boat race, singing, dancing, fashion show and flying the Kongming lanterns.
The festivities began with cheers, music and fire works at 13:00 pm in the prefectural city of Jinghong on the bank of the Lancang River. Later, a dragon-boat race was held on the river, and people sprinkled water to each other merrily to pray for good fortune. In the evening, the sky over the Jinghong city was dotted by the Kongming lanterns that were flown by locals and visitors.
The New Year of the Dai ethnic group, better known as the water-sprinkling festival in China, is also marked yearly in other places in Yunnan, including Kunming City and Dehong Prefecture. In Thailand, Myanmar, Lao, Cambodia and other countries, the occasion is known as the Songkran festival.