Moon worshipping festival of Tay ethnic people recognised as national heritage

Wednesday, 2017-07-12 10:38:59
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Moon worshipping festival of Tay ethnic people
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NDO – The Nang Hai festival, in worship of the moon, which is observed annually by the Tay ethnic groups in Tien Thanh commune, Phuc Hoa district, Cao Bang province, has been listed as a national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

In the Tay people’s belief, mother Moon and her 12 fairies-daughters, ‘Nang Hai’, take care of the life and crops of people on earth. Therefore, every first lunar month, they host the festival to invite the mother Moon and her daughters down to earth and pray for happiness, favourable weather conditions and bumper crops.

To prepare for the festival, elders in the village pick a woman who has a happy family and is good at singing to play as Mother Moon. Fourteen ladies are also selected to play the fairies.

Offerings during the festival include a pig, a chicken, and a tray of five-coloured glutinous rice.

A tent is set up in the village and is decorated with flowers and leaves, serving as a venue to stage the festival, which will be held once every 12 nights. Every night features a journey of the fairies to invite each of the 12 ‘Nang Hai’ to join in with the celebration.

During the rituals, participants dance and sing songs featuring their aspirations and wishes.

The recognition for Nang Hai festival, as national intangible cultural heritage, aims to preserve and promote a unique traditional practice of Vietnam’s ethnic communities.