|Young women and men dance at Khau Vai Love Market. The annual festival will be held in Mèo Vạc District’s Khau Vai Commune in the northern mountainous province of Hà Giang on May 11-12 this year. — VNA/VNS File Photo|Viet Nam News
HÀ GIANG — Various activities showcasing the unique culture of ethnic groups will be included in the Khau Vai Love Market festival.
The festival will be held in Mèo Vạc District’s Khau Vai Commune in the northern mountainous province of Hà Giang on May 11-12.
According to organisers, the festival aims to preserve the cultural values of the local ethnic groups while attracting visitors and stimulating socio-economic development in the northernmost area of Việt Nam.
The Khau Vai Love Market is a popular attraction in Hà Giang, even though it is held only once a year at a distance of nearly 200km from the city.
On the 27th day of the third lunar month, local ethnic women and men put on their best traditional costumes and go to the market where they are free to meet their former lovers in public.
Husbands and wives arrive at the market together and start looking for their past partners among the crowd. Spouses do not get angry or jealous because the meeting at the market is supposed to be a temporary moment and does not influence their daily lives or relationship.
According to folklore, a couple were deeply in love but were forbidden to be together because they were from different ethnic groups. A violent conflict later took place between the two tribes, resulting in bloodshed for both. To stop the fierce fight, the couple decided to part ways with broken hearts. They, however, promised to meet once every year in the market in Khau Vai Commune on the 27th of the third lunar month.
The 100-year-old festival draws thousands of tourists from across the country and abroad.
Visitors can enjoy traditional games and local specialties as well as explore the beauty of Đồng Văn Karst Plateau Global Geopark, Lũng Cú Flag Pole, Mã Pí Léng Peak and Đồng Văn Town Old Quarter. — VNS