Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Xăng Khan, a traditional festival of the Thái ethnic group, where herbalists pay tribute to gods and ancestors who taught them to cure ailments, will be part of an event to celebrate the Việt Nam Ethnic Groups’ Cultural Day on April 19.
Xăng Khan festival was recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage last year. It is an occasion for people to express gratitude for local herbalists who cure them from illness. It is also a rendezvous for young men and women. At the festival, locals and tourists will have an opportunity to enjoy a show of traditional costumes of ethnic groups, gong performances, dances and folk games.
The Xăng Khan festival will take place on April 21.
It is part of a wide range of activities organised from April 19-22 at the Culture and Tourism Villages of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups in Sơn Tây district, 45km west of Hà Nội’s centre.
About 270 people from 30 ethnic groups across the country will show off their distinctive culture, traditional festivals and worship rituals at the event, according to Lâm Văn Khang, head of the village’s management board.
“The cultural event will help honour patriotism, the cultural diversity and national solidarity,” he said.
Colourful: Xăng Khan, a traditional festival of the Thái ethnic group, where herbalists pay tribute to gods and ancestors who taught them to cure ailments, will be part of an event to celebrate the Việt Nam Ethnic Groups’ Cultural Day
An art performance to celebrate 10 years since the first Việt Nam Ethnic Groups’ Cultural Day will be highlight of the event. It will be broadcast live on Việt Nam Television.
The performance will star troupes from the southern province of Sóc Trăng and the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum as well as of people residing in the village.
The cultural day of the Khmer people on April 20 will recreate the Chol Chnam Thmay, the Khmer New Year festival, and feature dù kê, a style of musical theatre created by the Khmer people in Việt Nam in the early 1920s.
Dù kê originated from workers in the Mekong Delta. In the early days, it was performed on land, under a simple roof. Actors were peasants who portrayed kings, queens and ogresses. The singing drama uses poetry based on Indian epics, for example, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
On the cultural day of ethnic people from the northwest, the Thái ethnic group in Nghệ An Province will present Xăng Khan festival and a series of cooking demonstrations of traditional dishes by the Tày of Thái Nguyên Province, the Dao of Hà Nội, the Mông of Hà Giang, the Mường of Hòa Bình, the Khơ Mú of Điện Biên and the Thái of Sơn La.
The culture and music of the Central Highlands will be featured on April 22 with the performance of the Gia Rai ethnic people. They will perform a ritual to pray for rain which is practiced in April and May every year to pray for rain and bumper crops. The traditional music of the region will also be played during the day.
A photo exhibition reviewing the activities taking place at the village during the 10 years implementing the Việt Nam Ethnic Groups’ Cultural Day will be held during the four-day festival. — VNS