The Dai are one of the 55 officially recognized ethnic minorities of the People's Republic of China.
Under the name " Dai " (Chinese傣族, Pinyin Dǎizú ) the Chinese authorities summarize several Tai peoples in Yunnan Province, although they do not consider themselves in the face of considerable linguistic, cultural and historical differences as a nationality. This is Tai Lue, Tai Nuea, Tai Dam and Shan. The Chinese government considers the Dai as a separate nationality with a total of 1,261,311 families ( census 2010). The Dai live mainly in the Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna Dai Nationality Autonomous County in the Dehong Dai - Jingpo nationality, and in the autonomous districts Gengma, Jinggu, Jinping, Menglian, Shuangjiang, Xinping and Yuanjiang.
While the Chinese authorities summarized living in Yunnan Tai peoples to the group of Dai, it is in fact several different ethnicities. On the basis of linguistic and cultural differences as well as different historical experiences, the southwestern Tai peoples, which include ethnic groups, the designated China as Dai, be divided into two subgroups. The boundary between the two subgroups runs along the Salween River, so by Yunnan. While the east of the Salween living Tai Lue have traditionally had close relations with the Tai Yuan in Northern Thailand and the Tai Khuen to Keng Tung in Burma and also to the Lao, are the Tai Nuea and Shan ( Tai Pong ) the Tai peoples in Assam closer.
The languages of the Dai are among the Kam - Tai languages (such as, inter alia, Thai, Lao and Zhuang ), a subgroup of the Tai - Kadai language family.
The Dai have four different written languages : The most important are Tai Lue ( Xishuangbanna Dai ) and Tai Nuea ( Dehong Dai ); and there is yet Tai Pong ( Mengding - Dai, especially in Ruili county瑞丽 县and in the Autonomous District Gengma Dai and Va nationality耿马 傣族 佤族 自治县) and Tai Dam (especially in Jinping金 平). Tai Pong is written with a modified Burmese alphabet.
Most Dai are followers of Theravada Buddhism.
Calendar system of Dai
The Dai used for the calculation of their traditional festivals their old calendar (Chinese Daili ). Thus, 638 AD, the year is the first year. In 2007, for example, is followed by the year 1369th The New Year of the Dai normally falls between the 13th and 15th April, 2007, her New Year's Day fell on April 13.