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Early New Year celebrations of Ha Nhi ethnic people in northern Vietnam

Living in the northern mountainous region, the Ha Nhi celebrate their Tet (New Year) festival more than two months earlier than the Kinh, the largest ethnic group in Vietnam. Let’s find out the distinctiveness in their Tet celebrations.

The Ha Nhi live in the border communes of Ka Lang, Ta Ba, Thu Lu, and Mu Ca, in the watershed area of the Da River.
The Ha Nhi live in the border communes of Ka Lang, Ta Ba, Thu Lu, and Mu Ca, in the watershed area of the Da River.

 

Here in Lai Chau province, they still retain many distinct cultural features, including traditional Tet (New Year) which is usually celebrated early in the 10th lunar calendar.
Here in Lai Chau province, they still retain many distinct cultural features, including traditional Tet (New Year) which is usually celebrated early in the 10th lunar calendar.
Their Tet festival begins on the Thin day (the day of the dragon according to the lunar calendar) and ends on the Thin day in the same month, after people complete their annual crop.
Their Tet festival begins on the Thin day (the day of the dragon according to the lunar calendar) and ends on the Thin day in the same month, after people complete their annual crop.
Ha Nhi people often slaughter pigs to celebrate Tet, considering this as the result of breeding in the year.
Ha Nhi people often slaughter pigs to celebrate Tet, considering this as the result of breeding in the year.
Pig slaughtering is usually held on the early morning of the first Thin day, with the participation of all family members.
Pig slaughtering is usually held on the early morning of the first Thin day, with the participation of all family members.
After slaughtering pigs, Ha Nhi people take the most delicious meat to serve as ancestors 'trays, as a report of family members' work in the year.
After slaughtering pigs, Ha Nhi people take the most delicious meat to serve as ancestors 'trays, as a report of family members' work in the year.
According to Ha Nhi people’s traditional custom, the pig’s liver is kept intact
According to Ha Nhi people’s traditional custom, the pig’s liver is kept intact
. The liver is then used by the village patriarch to tell what would happen in a new year.
. The liver is then used by the village patriarch to tell what would happen in a new year.
Traditionally, if the pig is healthy, its liver’s colour is bright and its bile is full, a bumper rice harvest and good breeding season is anticipated for a new year.
Traditionally, if the pig is healthy, its liver’s colour is bright and its bile is full, a bumper rice harvest and good breeding season is anticipated for a new year.
Besides pork, Banh Giay (a type of glutinous rice cake) is an indispensable dish to be displayed on the offering try to ancestors.
Besides pork, Banh Giay (a type of glutinous rice cake) is an indispensable dish to be displayed on the offering try to ancestors.
Elderly Ha Nhi people say the cakes are often made big and round, to signal a happy and lucky year ahead
Elderly Ha Nhi people say the cakes are often made big and round, to signal a happy and lucky year ahead
The festival offers a chance for the Ha Nhi to wear new traditional costumes.
The festival offers a chance for the Ha Nhi to wear new traditional costumes.
Like the Kinh, the largest ethnic group in Vietnam, the Ha Nhi hold a big party for family reunion during the Tet festival.
Like the Kinh, the largest ethnic group in Vietnam, the Ha Nhi hold a big party for family reunion during the Tet festival.

VOV/VNA

Try the special beer of the Ha Nhi

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