Spring festival honors ethnic culture

(VOVWORLD) - A cultural program called “Spring colours across Vietnam 2018” was held late last month in Hanoi. The event honored the cultural identities of Vietnamese ethnic groups and promoted national unity.

President Tran Dai Quang beat a gong to launch the annual spring festival at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Hanoi’s outlying district of Son Tay on February 24. Attending the event were 200 delegates who are village patriarchs and chiefs, intellectuals, and artisans representing 21 ethnic groups from 14 cities and provinces nationwide.

Spring festival honors ethnic culture - ảnh 1President Tran Dai Quang beat the gong the launch the festival.

On the occasion, President Quang planted a tree in a Muong ethnic village and launched the Gau Tao festival of the Mong ethnic group.

"The Gau Tao festival is held to thank the gods for granting good health to families and villages, and is one of the largest traditional festivals of the Mong ethnic people. It combines almost all types of folk cultural activities of the group and involves the erection of a “neu” tree", said Nguyen Hong Hai, Director of the Ha Giang provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

Spring festival honors ethnic culture - ảnh 2The festival features folk games of Vietnamese ethnic peoples.

The “Nêu” bamboo tree is erected in front of the house to ward off evils and pray for good luck in the new lunar year. It’s said that Mong people often walk up Gau Tao hill to pray and ask the genies for fertility, good health, and smooth businesses. When their wishes are granted, they prepare offerings and organize the Gau Tao festival to show their gratitude to the genies. Gau Tao has become the most important festival of the Mong ethnic people, where people also pray for bumper crops. Giang Mi Tao, a Mong man, explained: "The Gau Tao festival is one of the Mong ethnic people’s most important and time-honored traditions. It has been well preserved through generations. The festival is considered our most cheerful and biggest event."

Spring festival honors ethnic culture - ảnh 3A performance of Vietnam's traditional bamboo dance

This year’s spring festival at the ethnic cultural village featured a wide range of activities spotlighting the traditions, customs, and spring festivals of 54 ethnic groups across the country. A highlight of the program was a prayer ceremony in which monks from Khmer pagodas prayed for peace and blessings.

Visitors also enjoyed tree-planting, a clown circus, special foods from different regions, folk games and exhibitions from mountain areas, and activities to welcome the lunar New Year.