Lao Cai has four more national intangible cultural heritages
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has added four more cultural practices of ethnic minority people in the northern province of Lao Cai to the national list of intangible cultural heritages.
They are the Bac Ha Horse Racing Festival, the costume decorative arts of the Mong Hoa people in Bac Ha District and the Nung Din people in Muong Khuong District, and the craft of making worship painting of the Red Dao people in Sa Pa Town.
The Bac Ha Horse Racing Festival is held every June in the stadium in the centre of Bac Ha town. Neither a commercial nor professional race, the festival at Bac Ha features farmers and pack horses. Horsemen ride their horses without harness and stirrups, just a horse belt, with two iron hooks tied to ropes on either side of the horse’s mouth for control.
The horse racing festival was restored in June 2008 after a long period of disruption since the end of the 19th century due to wars, with the aim of conserving traditional cultural values and promoting the region’s image among visitors at home and abroad.
The costumes of the Mong Hoa people, especially Mong Hoa women, are works of decorative art. The patterns on the costumes are mainly geometric patterns.
Meanwhile, the costumes of the Nung Din are decorated with silver and metal accessories, embroidery, and fabric stitching. Decorative patterns on costumes reflect their beliefs and worldview through devotional natural worshiping symbols like the sun and water sources associated with agricultural practices.
The traditional worship painting craft practiced by the Red Dao is closely linked with the rich, mysterious and sacred spiritual life of the ethnic group. The Red Dao people have many crafts, but the profession of making worship paintings is one of the most unique which is imbued with national identity, reflecting the multi-layered world, spirituality, beliefs, and philosophy in each worship picture.
The recognition of the four national intangible cultural heritages will contribute to the preservation and promotion of the unique cultural heritage of ethnic minority communities in Lao Cai Province.
Traditional horse racing in Bac Ha District in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai is among 10 newly recognised as 'national intangible heritage' by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The traditional weaving skills of Red Dao ethnic minority people in Hoang Su Phi District, the northern province of Ha Giang, have been preserved and developed together with other features of traditional culture.