|Preparations: A woman decorates her house with cockscomb flowers for Tết Hoa.|
During the tenth month of the Lunar Calendar the Cống ethnic community in Nậm Khè Commune in Điện Biên Phủ Province is busy getting ready for Tết Hoa, the ethnic group’s biggest annual holiday.
|Click clack pow: Cống men take part in a crossbow competition. — VNA/VNS Photos Văn Dũng|
The holiday is held after the season’s harvest is completed. Villagers gather at the village elder’s house with offerings to ancestors and local deities.
|Respect: A village elder prepares offerings before a ceremony.|
Offerings include rice cakes and small goods but the most important part is a celosia (also known as cockscomb) flower from local fields.
|Gridning: A woman makes rice cakes for the occasion.|
In Cống people’s belief the flower is a symbol of luck and prosperity. The blooming flowers signal the time for Tết Hoa, a time to worship and reflect on the year’s events. Ceremonies are held to pray for good harvests, health and weather in the year to come.
|Messy fun: Children play with cockscomb flowers. The flowers are a symbol of luck and prosperity in local belief.|
It’s also a festive time to enjoy outdoor games such as spinning tops, crossbow competitions, singing and dancing. — VNS