HA GIANG

Rain-praying Festival of Lo Lo People in Ha Giang province

4:00:44 PM | 31/3/2015

When the Lunar New Year comes, traditional cultural festivals across Vietnam like Adulthood Initiation Festival of the Dao people and Children-Wishing Festival of the Mong people.
Rain-praying Festival, organised from the 15th to 17th days of the third lunar month, shows the human belief and desire to renovate change the life in productive. The festival is not only a cultural and religious activity where people meet, interact and talk about their farming experience but also a chance for everyone to express reverence to the divinity.
 
According to the beliefs of the Lo Lo people, chicken and pig must be included in the offering because they are close and lucky animals. The offering also includes sword and red ropes which are believed to eliminate evil spirits and banish bad lucks. The offerings made by local people are brought to the god with the hope and belief that the god blesses the village and the community. After the offerings are ready for the rite, a shaman will invite the divinity to witness the rite and worship “Gods, Rain God, Wind God and Gods from all four directions, today is a fine day. The Lo Lo people offer to familiar livestock representative of cattle and fowls and wish for a prosperous year without drought and disease. May the gods bestow upon rain, wind and air for better crops, health, happiness and peace for the people."
 
Pulling the dragon’s tail is a must-do action in rain-praying rite as it is a sign to invite the gods to witness and protect the villagers. “Today, we offer the best rice and wine to you” shows the gratitude of the Lo Lo people to the divine. After the worshipping profession, the shaman will burn divine money and thank the divine for accepting the wish for peace, good weather and bumper crop.
 
After the worship, the villagers gather to wait for the shaman to declare the closing and deliver lucks. He gives wine to four young boys at the service of the rite and tells the villagers to dance to see off the divinity to the sky.
 
Besides the solemn, sacred ceremony is the enjoyment of the villagers. They dance and sing happily during the festival because this is the time they meet and play to forget and dispel daily anxieties and hardships in life and wish for a more prosperous season. Dancing with the tree is typical of Sang Pa A villagers in Meo Vac Town, Ha Giang Province. Their dancing steps are in tune with the move of instruments made from bamboos.
 
The rain-praying festival by the Lo Lo people is a cultural and spiritual activity and a special, unique custom with profound significance in preserving the Lo Lo's cultural values.
 
Le Thuy Dung