The Opening of Water Releasing Festival at Dujiang Dam in 2017, Water from the World Flowing into Mingjiang River

Photo: The site of Sacrificial Ceremony

According to the report made at Dujiangyan by China News (Yang Jun, An Yuan and Tang Yan) on April 2, the yearly Water Releasing Festival at Dujiang Dam started on April 2. Dujiang Dam is a large-scale hydraulic project built by Li Bing, the prefecture chief of Shu Country, and his son leading numerous people in the period of Warring States. It is a hydraulic project diverting water without dam, which is the only one well preserved and still used in the world so far.


This year is the 2273rd anniversary for the construction of Dujiang Dam. In the ancient time, the local people would repair it every year to preserve its functions: When winter came every year, people would use wood tripod dams to build a coffer to make the water in Mingjiang River flow into the inner river or the outer river, and then clean out and repair the riverbed, and reinforce the river wall. On Tomb Sweeping Day, in order to irrigate the vast fields in Chengdu Plain, and to offer sacrifices to Li Bing and his son and pray for a golden harvest, people would hold a grand water releasing ceremony and dismantle the wood tripod dams to make the water in Mingjiang River flow into inner river.

At the site of Water Releasing Festival, the sponsor will restore the historic culture of “regulating rivers and watercourses with ancient methods” existing two thousand years ago in the form of separate acts on stage. Through showing the live-action spectacles of Cutting Wood Tripod Dams to Release Water and Hold a Sacrificial Ceremony, Pulling out Weed for Rice Shoots in Spring Plowing, Feeling Grateful for Water, and Such A Good Dujiang Dam, the historic culture of Dujiang Dam is intensively represented.


In the ceremony, what deserved the most attentions was still cutting wood tripod dams for water releasing. Upon the order of presiding official, when hearing “Dong Dong Dong”, the sounds of fireworks, the works on Dujiang Dam spared no efforts to cut the ropes surrounding the wood tripod dams, and the people on the bank of river hauled away the ropes. Then the wood tripod dams broke up, and the water suddenly flushed out; all the crowd cheered up.


According to the narration by the emcee of ceremony on site, the “holy water” used at the sacrificial ceremony was water sources collected from 9 countries and regions such as Pacific Ocean in America, Frankston Beach in Australia, Moscow River in Russia, and Seine River in France.


Sinn from New Jersey, America have been a foreign teacher in Dujiangyan City for 11 years. “Water is mutually connected; the water fetched from Pacific Ocean flowing into Mingjiang River makes me feel closer with Dujiang Dam,” he said to the journalist, “I have enjoyed the Water Releasing Festival for 7 years; it was more and more wonderful year by year, and more and more foreign tourists were coming here.”

Zhang Juexin, the director from Malaysia, said to the journalist, “I feel very touched after watching the sacrificial activities. Even though it is cold today, I can still feel the sincerity of all staffs on site. It really makes me have a kind of feeling, that is, fallen leaves return to their roots,” she said that her parents all are Chinese, and hoped that she would bring her kids and their family members here to deeply understand the profound cultures of China if there is a chance.

According to the information, the wonderful content about the Water Releasing Festival at Dujiang Dam were translated into 10 languages this year. It was advertised and propagandized by over 100 media from the countries and regions such as United States, Russia, Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Japan and South Korea. Over 100 international tourists from the countries and regions such as United States, Britain, France, Japan and Russia visited the site of this grand ceremony. 

Media Contact
Company Name: Sichuan Provincial Tourism Information Center
Contact Person: Mr. Li
Phone: +86-28-86702855
City: Chengdu
State: Sichuan Province
Country: China