There are about 5,000 people of Pa Then group living mainly in Chiem Hoa (Chiêm Hóa) and Bac Quang (Bắc Quang) Districts. Despite remote residence and small population, Pa Then people still keep many ancient and traditional customs and festivals. The most mysterious and unique one of Pa Then People is Fire Dancing Festival that is celebrated annually during the harvest season at the turn of the old year and the new year. As a cultural and spiritual activity, the Ha Giang Fire Dancing Festival is an excellent chance for you to understand about the life and culture of Pa Then people when you visit Ha Giang (Hà Giang) province, Vietnam.
Fire Dancing Festival – The Traditional Event Of Pa Then People
Starting in Mid-October of lunar calendar and lasting through New Year, the Fire Dancing Festival reflects the will and ability of human when they cope with nature and evil spirits. During this festival, Pa Then People pray God for a year of good crops, enough rains and favorable weather. Furthermore, in cold weather of the frigid winter, the fire will keep people warm and fight against diseases and evil spirits.
Fire Dancing Festival has spiritual values as many people believe that the gods always support and protect them from danger and misfortune. According to Pa Then people, the Fire gods is the superpower god that can give them the luck.
Therefore, on the days of festivals, all villagers gather and celebrate the fire festival. During the celebration, they dance with their bare feet, praying for a good harvest season and good health.
First, they set the fire on the yard and start the rituals that last for approximately 2 hours before the fire dance festival starts. Sacrifices are an iron music instrument, incense-burner, 10 cups of wine, bamboo paper and a chicken. The sorcerer will say something to pray the God of Water, the God of Fire, and the ancestors and ask the permission to hold the game.
When the rituals are completed, participants will sit in front of the sorcerer, and they beat the music with the bamboo sticks to gain power and energy from the Gods. When someone is successful, he will get into the entrance and jump over the fire with other people’s encouragement. This person needs to jump into the fire without having fear or getting burned.
Participants jump in pairs and repeat it for 5 to 10 minutes until the gods bestow the power. After finishing, they sit back at the rituals, waiting for the Gods to call for a new jump. The dancers can use their hands to touch the live coals or put them into their mouth.
In the final jump, there is the participation of the sorcerers in the performances with strong jumps. It is excellent to enjoy the mysterious and spiritual atmosphere of the festival. You will have a chance to see the mysterious and strange dances of people until the live coals have gone. Although nothing is used to cover their feet, they are not burned. When they dance with the fire, the eyes become bright and the cheeks get rosy.
When the fire is off, the sorcerers will say something to see off the ghosts and gods. Participants normally dance together. Everyone looks excited and happy.
Only men can participate in the fire dance. Children and women cheer and see them with their admiring eyes.
Tourists are always welcomed to join the fire dance with Pa Then people to explore the sacred and mystery festival.
Today, people from the hamlets of Pa Then group celebrate the fire dance festival in the spring festival in Ha Giang or at the end of the year. Therefore, the Fire Dance Festival is also known as the new rice festival. Nowadays, fire dancing is still maintained and descended to the young generation to get rid of their fearsomeness and boost their bravery. The Fire Dance Festival of Pa Then people is a traditional cultural festival that prays for prosperity and health and drives away from the evils and ghosts. I hope that you will find useful information in this article. Any questions you want to ask can be left below and we will answer them as soon as we can. To know more interesting and meaningful festivals held in Vietnam, please visit Vina.com.