Traveling to Sapa, tourists, and visitors will be astonished at the untouched mountainous sites, beautiful landscape and many meaningful traditional festivals held by ethnic groups. One of the must-see festivals in this mountainous town is Nao Cong Festival (Lễ hội Nào Cống), a well-known traditional festival organized in not only many ethnic people including the Dao, the H’mong and the Giay (Giáy) from different villages of Muong Hoa (Mường Hoa) valley come to celebrate the Nao Cong Festival but also tourists and visitors visit to explore the ethnic culture and take part in the festive atmosphere.
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Nao Cong Festival – The Traditional Festival Of Ethnic Groups In Muong Hoa Valley
Nao Cong Festival in Ta Van Sapa is organized in June of the lunar calendar. This traditional festival of Sapa has been developed a long time ago and still preserved until now. In this festival, people demand wind, rain, good life, and bumper harvests.
To make Nao Cong Festival take place successfully, the authority and local people have to prepare a few months ago. First organized in the 1950s, Nao Cong Festival is a traditional festival of Dao, Giay and H’ mong people in Muong Hoa Valley. On days festival is organized, the local people in Muong Hoa Valley gather in a three-room shrine which was built in front of the bridge of Ta Van Village and then they celebrate the festival and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
There are three main parts of Nao Cong Festival. Firstly, local people worship Gods in the shine and pray for a year of health and luck. Next, they declare general convention and finally, the banquet takes place. There are 3 rooms in the shrine. The center room worships two officials who constructed Muong Hoa Valley and protected local people. Two official’s dames are worshipped in the right room while the left room worships the king of ocean and mountain god. Their offerings include pigs, black buffalos, and poultry. Before the Nao Cong Festival, people in Ta Van Giay Villages have to prepare bowls, plates, and incense.
In the ancient time, a shaman of Tay (Tày) ethnic groups in Muong Bo (Mường Bo) was the leader of the ritual. Since the 1940s, an oracle of Giay ethnic people in Ta Van village is responsible for leading the ritual. During the ritual, the shaman dressing in baggy tunic trouser reads out the divine words with the content of inviting Gods to join in the rite.
After that, there is a speech of the general convention of Muong Hoa’s officials. The convention has 4 main issues, including:
- Security of villages: People in villages mustn’t steal from anyone. Furthermore, measures should be taken to prevent the stealing
- Cattle shepherding: From October 15th to January 5th of Lunar calendar, villages have to ban the cattle from grazing or damaging crop
- Forest protection: Villages of Dao, Giay and H’ mong people are hardworking. They aren’t allowed to cut the bamboo sprouts and firewood in the forbidden forest
- Social behavior: Villages have to help each other and their families. The inappropriate relationship between women and men is strongly criticized
Participants in the Nao Cong Festival are ethnic people in Muong Hoa Valley and tourists across the world. Everyone attending the festival has to follow the rules and regulations told by the officials. After the ceremony of giving convention, local people join in the banquet happily.
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Nao Cong Festival in Sapa has raised popularity across the world. During the festival, local people and tourists gather to pray for a year of luck, health, and prosperity. It is also the time of cultural exchanges and community meeting. For someone who is interested in learning the cultural features of ethnic groups, Lao Cong Festival is worth a visit. I hope that you can find useful information in this article. Any questions can be left in the comment section and we will answer them as soon as we can. Our website Vina.com has interesting articles about Vietnam’s attractions and activities. You should visit if you have time.