Ada festival of the Pa Ko

(VOVWORLD) -The Ada festival to celebrate a new rice crop is the biggest and most important event of the year for the Pa Ko.  The festival begins on the 6th day of the 11th lunar month, which the Pa Ko believe is the best day of the year. The Ada festival is held to thank the gods of the heaven and earth and pray to them for a bumper crop.
Ada festival of the Pa Ko - ảnh 1Religious festival of ethnic people in the Central Highlands

At the end of the year, as the rice in the terraced fields ripens and the weather grows colder, the Pa Ko people become eager to celebrate their Ada festival to thank the gods for blessing them with a bumper crop. Families prepare their best food and nicest clothes to welcome guests. The Pa Ko attach great importance to crop worship ceremonies because they believe in genies and their supernatural power to ensure happiness and sufficiency. The Ada Festival, which means New Rice Festival, is also a time for family reunions.

A Pa Ko man named Ho Van Do, told us: “People working far from home return to their homes for the Ada festival. While eating and drinking together, we talk about what we have and haven’t done and wish each other more achievements in the future.”

Prior to the festival, senior villagers draft a plan detailing the ritual procedures, guests, and offerings. They select a prestigious man to lead the festival and assign tasks to each clan. The men prepare animals for the worshipping ceremony and the women collect vegetables and roots from the forest.

A Viet Thi Nhi lives in A Luoi district, Thua Thien-Hue province. “The Ada is our major festival. The offering includes steamed rice in bamboo tubes, roasted chicken, pork, birds, frogs, and fish. It takes us several weeks to prepare for the festival which last several days.”

Morning is the best time to worship the genies. Guests from other villages bring food to contribute to the festival. Each family prepares three trays of offerings for the genie of the forest, the genie of rice, and the genie of other cereal grains. Patriarch Ho Van Hanh says the offerings for the genie of the forest should include the meat of a big animal such as a buffalo or goat. The meat of a smaller animal, such as a pig, chicken, or duck, is for the genie of rice and the genie of cereals.

Families also prepare a meal for relatives and other guests arriving from other villages. After the ritual, villagers and their guests sing and dance together for 2 or 3 days. The Pa Ko have preserved their festivals and customs and now introduce them to tourists who visit their village at festival time.