Sports & Entertainment
Ethnic groups to showcase culture
  • | VNS | February 18, 2013 01:04 PM
Ethnic groups across the country will gather for a spring festival from today to Friday to highlight their cultural identities.


A man performs the fire dance of the Pa Then people
Through performances and other activities, representatives from 16 ethnic groups would help revive traditional rituals and folk games to promote understanding about ethnic cultures, said the festival organisers from the Cultural Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups.

Tourists will have the opportunity to watch ethnic people prepare their traditional dishes in the culinary section of the festival, which is on opening day from 9am.

Pa Then and Mong representatives from the northern mountainous Ha Giang Province will present their traditional festivals, the fire dance and Gau Tao tomorrow.

“The Gau Tao festival is the most typical festival of Mong people. It is held after the second day of the new year,” said Ho Viet Son, director of the provincial cultural centre.

“We will bring the Gau Tao festival to tourists to enjoy on spring days. There will also be pan-pipe dancing and folklore songs performed.”

The Pa Then people often organise the fire dance festival which is often held when the traditional Tet holiday is over.

The fire dance festival has rituals, such as when the shaman ends the sacrificial part and conjures up a dead person’s soul to access a boy’s body. At this point 12 boys begin dancing on hot coals.

“To Pa Then people, the fire dance involves the whole community, thus everyone has fun on this occasion,” Son said.

From the Central Highland province of Dak Lak, Gia Lai, E De and Mo Nong artisans will demonstrate brocade weaving and rattan products.

They will also perform wind instruments and folklore songs. Plus, a ceremony praying for good health will be revived.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, head of Dam Sam College, said: “We will introduce Central Highlands traditional dishes, like nhip leaf; rattan browse and lo o tree-tube rice.”

On Wednesday, the neu tree will be taken down in a ceremony expected to welcome the participation of State leaders.

Nguyen Duc Thang, an official from the Cultural Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups, said the new year’s tree was set up as a symbol for safety on the 23rd day of lunar December and taken down on the 7th of lunar January.

“The tree is considered a bridge for the gods and forefathers’ spirits to travel between Heaven and Earth. Tet will end after the neu is taken down and people will be ready to go back to work,” Thang said.

Folklore games and sports activities will be held during the four-day festival. In a common house, each ethnic groups will decorate their traditional houses and welcome tourists with Tet customs by singing and dancing.

The spring festival will mark the opening of the 2013 programme at the Cultural Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups.

The ethnic groups involved in the festival include Tay, Pa Then, La Ha, Mong, Lo Lo, Co Lao, Nung, E De and Gia Lai from the northern mountainous provinces of Ha Giang, Son La, Hoa Binh, Bac Giang and Lang Son; the central province of Thanh Hoa; the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) province of Dak Lak; and the central province of Ninh Thuan.

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