The festive and ceremonial activities have been preserved and promoted as the role of the living museums through which the typical cultural values of Vietnam have been demonstrated.
Rain Praying Festival of White Thai people
For White Thai people in Moc Chau, Son La, rain praying festival is one of the most important events of the year, which occurs in the Lunar February 15th to pray for favorable weather and upcoming bumper crops.
Before the festival, each household is supposed to willingly make donations depending on their financial means. Families all participate in the preparations of required steps for the festival such as raising “nêu” tree or offerings…
Afterwards, on oracle performs a water asking ritual. Offerings strictly include a chicken, a duck, clothing, fruits and in particular, 6 dyed eggs. After the rain praying ceremony, the 6 eggs are thrown into the water so that widows are allowed to fetch them home.
Yen Tu Festival:
Yen Tu festival takes place on the Lunar January 10th and lasts three spring months. The solemn ceremony held at the mountain foot is flowed by a pilgrimage of thousands of people to the peak of Yen Tu – Dong pagoda. The path to Yen Tu trickily meanders under the shade of perennial trees through vast woods of pines and bamboos. To reach Dong pagoda makes pilgrims feel like having arrived in the Nirvana. Yen Tu has for long reputed as an elegant religious, cultural and ecological destination.
Dong Da Mound Festival
Dong Da Mount festival takes place annually on the Lunar January 5th at Dong Da Mount, Hanoi. The festival is hosted in memory of the illustrious of Emperor Quang Trung, a peasant hero in the Vietnamese history of resistances against foreign invaders. The festival boasts many physical games to honor martial spirit. The Thang Long Fire Dragon is the most unique game off all. Formal ceremonies are followed by games and folk art performances such as kylan dance, dragon dance, wrestling, human chess or chicken fights. After the liberation of the Capital (October 10th, 1954), Dong Da mount festival is regarded as a traditional festival of national significance.
Perfume Pagoda Festival
Perfume Pagoda Festival takes place from the Lunar January 6th to the end of Lunar March.
During peak festive days, the Perfume Pagoda is crowded with traveling boats. A unique feature of the festival is boat tours to relish the picturesque landscape. Leaving boats, visitors will embark to trips to the pagoda and start climbing mountains and marveling at caves with delightful stalactites inside.
Thay Pagoda Festival
Thay pagoda is situated in Sai Son commune, Quoc Oai district, 20km Southwest from Hanoi center. Lunar March 7th is said to be the day monk Tu Dao Hanh transformed himself into Buddha and Thay pagoda festival was launched in honor of monk Tu Dao Hanh. However, the festival lasts from the Lunar March 5th to 7th.
Apart from religious rituals, Thay pagoda festival also takes pride in enticing folk games such as water puppetry that features kylan dances, dragon dances, milling, rice pounding or buffalo fights…
Rice cooking contest in Chuong village
Chuong village in Thanh Oai, ha Noi is famous for its conial hat craft. On the Lunar March 10th, youngsters in Chuong village joyously take part in their annual festival. The event proves to be a short break for villages after their hectic farm work. CHuong festival boasts various folk games such as human chess, chicken fights, pot breaking or duck catches… of which the most outstanding and attractive game is the rice cooking contest.
Participants include some od the most skillful maidens of each village. Girls are dressed in four flapped tunics and wear quai thao hats roaming the courtyard and cooking rice. One carries a pole of two earthen pots who is flanked by two other participants to keep the flaime alight. A huge throng of villagers and visitors flocks to the contest. They densely surround the courtyard and the belfry. After 20 minutes, well-cooked and delectable rice pots of competeing teams will be given to villagers and visitors to determine the winner. During the contest, the temple courtyar of Chuong village is draped in the tantalizing odors of cooked rice and joyful screams.
Traditional elephant races of mnong locals in Buon Me Thuot usually take place in the Lunar March, one of the finest months of the Central Highlands to honor the martial spirit and elephant taming skills of the locals. Elephant races are held on a spacious, tree-scare platform of Yokdon National Park or a loose forest by Serepok River. Amidst the ecstatic cheers of the crowds, racing elephants also seem more enthusiastic. They toss and lower their trunks to greet all spectators.
After strong low sound of olifants, elephants rush forward at an unparalleled speed. Two trainers, sit in the front and the back to keep the elephant in right track and durable. Spectators are mainly the locals in tawdry floral ethnic costumes who scream out with great joys, giving the race a breath taking ambience. Winning elephants are showred with thumderous screams from the spectators. They are awarded with flowers and belts. Winning elephants and their drivers are also given one pig and 7 jars of precious liquor. Spectators are also give elephants sugar canes or sugar pines. After the race, the locals get to the stilt house to indulge themselves in feasts and dances until the dawn.
Whale festival is closely associated with fishermen’s life. The folk festival is on an annual basis in springtime across costal fishing villages in the Center and up to the South. Meant to pay homepage to Sea Gods and pray for good future catches, the festival is also a rendezvous for fishermen to relax and exchanges ideas for a new fishing year ahead. The Whale festival is assimilated with the cults of Whale-the sacred animal of fishermen. The fish has served as a savior of wrecked fishermen, thus its honor name “the God of the South Sea”.
The wale worship is hosted in three conservative days on beaches or estuaries. Some festivals are even held on the water surface, near estuaries and on a row of boats. Offerings are subject to financial conditions of a fishing village. However, requisites are incenses, votives, flowers, liquors, cakes, bananas, sticky rice, compote, rice, salt, a little pig or chicken heads… Offerings should never ve seafood. The whale worship festival is a strongly religious event of fishermen in the Center that both demonstrate humanitarian values and people’s cultural behaviors of human beings towards the sea and also their gratitude to explorers of their estates. The longest lasting impression of the three-day festival is a mix between formal rituals and ceremonies and robust, energetic folk games among coastal people.