The annual traditional holiday of the Mong ethnic minority group, known as Nao Pe Chau, takes place at the end of the 11th lunar month. The event is held to celebrate the end of the harvest and spend time relaxing together.
The custom has been handed down through many generations of the Mongethnic group in the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien and takes placeone month before the nation's Lunar New Year (Tet).
On the last day of 11th lunar month, people clean up and decorate their houses,and families get together to make glutinous rice dumpling. After men poundthe rice into a flexible soft substance, women form the soft powder into small,round dumplings and cover them in banana leaves.
Families make as many dumplings as they can to eat and to giveas gifts to relatives and friends, whilst the biggest dumplings areset aside as offerings for the ancestors.
Mong people believe the dumplings represent the sun, the moon and the universe,which are the origins of all lifeforms.
The ceremony always takes place in the last afternoon of the 11th lunarmonth early morning of the first day of the 12th lunarmonth. Their customs include sweeping kitchen smoke andcollecting lucky water.
Folk singing and music played on flutes andthe two-string fiddle add a festive vibe to the festive atmosphere.
After the folk art performances, young people take part in folk games tofind their future partners.
HoSong Lu, head of Pu Sua village, Ang Cang commune, Muong Ang district, said theevent was an indispensable cultural activity for local people.
“It plays an important part in encouraging local solidarity, givingpeople a chance to look back at the past year and make plans for the new one.It also provides a chance for young people to find partners,” he said.
According to the statistics from 2009, there were over 1 million Mong people inthe country, making them the sixth largest ethnic minority group inVietnam.
Mong people reside mostly in Ha Giang, Dien Bien, Son La, LaoCai, Lai Chau, Yen Bai and Cao Bang./.VNA