Sun, 21st Apr 2024 00:02 (GMT +7)

Mông people celebrate traditional New Year festival

Monday, 29/01/2024 | 09:29:07 [GMT +7] A  A

This traditional folk festival honours the ethnic and cultural identity, and promotes the historical, cultural and tourism potential of the two communes to domestic and international tourists.

Mông people join hands and dance to the rhythm of the khèn panpipe. VNA/VNS Photos Trọng Đạt

The traditional New Year festival, or Gầu Tào, of the ethnic Mông people, has been celebrated in Hang Kia and Pà Cò communes, Mai Châu District in the northern province of Hòa Bình.

This folk festival honours the ethnic and cultural identity, and promotes the historical, cultural and tourism potential of the two communes to domestic and international tourists.

The festival included the rituals of erecting a bamboo pole, a sacred symbol of repelling bad luck and bringing good luck for the new year.

Mông people dance around a bamboo pole, a sacred symbol of repelling bad luck and bringing good luck for the New Year.

After the rituals, local residents and visitors joined a bamboo flute dance and a khèn panpipe performance, threw cloth balls, enjoyed ethnic cuisine and watched folk sports competitions, such as crossbow shooting, and glutinous rice cake making.

Festival-goers join the competition of pounding sticky rice cakes, a specialty dish of the Mông people during festive occasions.

The ethnic Mông community accounts for over 63 per cent of the population of Hòa Bình Province. They have an abundant and diverse spiritual life, and many unique cultural traditions, the highlight of which is Gầu Tào festival.

Young Mông women are seen in their traditional costumes during the Gầu Tào festival.

The festival originated from an old custom of the Mông in Sa Pa. When a couple couldn’t have a child after years of marriage, the husband climbed up a hill, made offerings to the god of the mountain and begged for his blessing to have a child. After the couple gave birth to a child, they invited relatives and villagers to a big ceremony to thank the god. This ceremony was held again by the family every three or five years, and gradually became a community festival held annually to pray for peace, prosperity and good luck for the whole village.

A view of Gầu Tào festival. The event attracts a large number of tourists to Hòa Bình Province every year.

The festival is an occasion to pray for good weather and abundant crops. It also provides a chance for the elderly to gather and wish each other longevity and bless their descendants with luck and health, and for girls and boys to make a date and pray for happiness all year around.

Mông women make sticky rice cakes during the Gầu Tào festival.

It is also an occasion for the Mông people who live, work or study far from home to reunite with their families and welcome the New Year together before entering a new cultivation and livestock breeding season.

Source: Vietnam News