Over 800 local oilfield workers came together to celebrate the 17th Water Festival at the Aykol Reservoir, outside the city of Karamay, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Aug 6.
The annual festival commemorates the completion of a vitally important water diversion project that shifts water from 400 km away and redirects it into the Karamay river, thereby making the city more inhabitable. The participants spanned from 43 local oilfield companies and spent the day engaged in lighthearted competition.
Contests included a water-splashing competition, an underwater treasure hunt and a thrilling fill the bucket with water race.
Zhang Yong, the deputy Party chief of Karamay Municipal Party committee, gave a speech at the opening ceremony of the festival praising the spirit of Karamay.
“The water festival is a major factor creating regional unity and ethnic communication. The celebration of the festival exhibits the wonderful spirit of Karamay’s people.”
The festivities continued back on dry land with beach volleyball proving exceedingly popular with the locals. The day’s entertainment provides an opportunity for the locals to reflect upon the value of water, such a precious commodity in their desert home.
The town of Karamay starts the month of August with these water festivities and they typically last until September. As a result these water festivals have become a unique feature of Karamay culture.
Locals from Karamay compete for in the treasures hunt during the festival. [Photo /kelamayi.com.cn]