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The ritual observed by the Ha Nhi group in Muong Te district of Lai Chau province takes place in the first lunar month every year.
Local people arrive early in the morning to prepare the ritual offerings.
The ritual was recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2019 to honour the cultural and religious values of the Ha Nhi ethnic group and promote community activities.
Women prepare cloth balls for folk games during the ritual, such as nem con, which involves throwing a ball through a ring for good luck.
Only healthy men are permitted to take part in this ritual.
Offerings include pig, fish, egg, sticky rice, and wine, with worshippers showing how grateful they are to the Forest God for protecting them over the past year and praying for luck moving into the new lunar year.
Local people gather in order to wish for a year of prosperity, good health, and bumper crops.
Following the ritual, the local ethnic people join in cooking activities.
They enjoy a meal together after the ritual to strengthen solidarity within the local community.

Ha Nhi ethnic people’s unique ritual to pray for good luck

(VOVWORLD) - The Ha Nhi ethnic group residing in the northern border province of Lai Chau often holds Ga Ma Thu worshipping in spring. The worshipping, considered a ritual of forest thanksgiving, is when the whole community gather to pray for luck in the Lunar New Year.