Spring in the Northwest Region

The Northwest region is a land rich in cultural features of over 20 different ethnic minority groups. Each group has its own typical festivals. Traditional cultural features are well presented in the daily life, revealing the uniqueness and mystery of each group.

How Phu La people celebrate New Year holiday?

Phu La ethnic minority group starts preparation for New Year (Tet) holiday from December. They store firewood and vegetables for pigs; dry fish; cook wine and look for Phrynium placentarium leaves (a special type of leaf used for wrapping traditional cakes during Tet) to make cake. On the final day of the year (according to Lunar calendar), each family go to the forest to take home an ivory bamboo (the top part) to tidy up their home and put on the ancestral altar, wishing to drive away all the bad luck of the previous year and welcome a new, peaceful and prosperous year.

vietnam discovery, vietnamese tet, tet, vietnam lunar new year, culture news, vietnam newsWhen spring arrives and mountain sides and villages are dressed in the colourful blouse knitted from various types of flowers in full bloom, it is time for Phu La people to temporarily put aside farming activities to enjoy Tet holiday. In addition to Chung cake and Day cake, Phu La people have lots of other unique food on this occasion. Tet of Phu La people officially lasts three days but entertainment activities often take place from 1st January (Lunar calendar) until 15th January (Lunar calendar). People then enter a new year of production.

Xen Pang A festival of Khang people

Xen Pang A festival of the Khang ethnic minority group in Son La is a major and very meaningful event among local people. This is an occasion for them to give tribute to ancestors and supernatural forces who give them health and their villages peace and prosperity. This is also the occasion for Khang people to relax and have fun after hard working days. The festival is organised on a large scale every two or three years between October and December with participation of lots of villages. The purpose of the festival is to invite “home ghosts”, “village ghosts” and “Heaven ghosts” to enjoy offerings presented to them and for patients successfully treated by Pa A to present gifts to express their gratitude to Pa A.

Muong A Ma festival of Xinh Mun people

Muong A Ma festival takes place over two days between December and February (Lunar calendar). The festival is separated into two parts, one for rituals and the other for festival. With the appealing scent of wine, everybody is in a fantastic mood and involves themselves in dances and joyful folk games. Muong A Ma festival is a typical and unique cultural trait which describes the real life of Xinh Mun community. This is a healthy cultural community activity, greatly contributing to preservation of fine traditions of the community.

Flower festival of Cong people

Flower worshipping ceremony or Flower festival is the most important traditional holiday of Cong people in Dien Bien province. The Flower festival is annually organised in September (Lunar calendar) after the crops are harvested. Farming work is put aside for local people to prepare for the new year holiday. The venue for people to gather is the house of the village patriarch or village head. It is the belief of Cong people that when a year is over, it is time for the whole village to organise flower worshipping ceremony to pray for a new year of prosperity and health.

From early morning of the day the festival takes place, the head of each family goes to his field to pick cockscomb planted around the field and bring to the sorcerer’s home. Cockscomb will then be used to decorate a bamboo from the foot to top which is placed right at the centre of the house. In addition, each family brings along a chicken as offering in the ritual. With the exciting sound of drum and gong and the fantastic atmosphere of the festival day, the whole community joyfully dance, sing and throw rice seeds and maize seeds around, wishing for fertility of all things.

Cong people pay special attention to spiritual life. They strongly believe that along with their own efforts, the gods and ancestors always accompany them to give them strength to overcome challenges and create miracles in life.