| Bỏ mả (leaving tomb), the biggest festival of the Raglai ethnic community in Ninh Thuận Province, has been recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage. — Photo from sggp.org.vn|Viet Nam News
NINH THUẬN – Bỏ mả (leaving tomb), the biggest festival of the Raglai ethnic community, was recognised as national intangible cultural heritage at a ceremony in Ninh Thuận Province’s Thuận Bắc District on Wednesday night.
Bỏ mả is held three or five years after a person dies. It is a farewell ceremony between the living and their beloved dead before they go to the eternal world.
The festival is celebrated from the 11th month of the lunar year to the third month of the following year.
During the event, villagers gather to play gongs, dance, and sing folk songs and epics to show their love to ancestors.
According to the province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the bỏ mả festival has a significant meaning in the Raglai people’s spirit life. It reflects the strong relationship between the living and the dead, and is a gesture of love from the former to the latter.
The bỏ mả festival is one of eight national intangible cultural heritage designations which have been announced by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Other designations are the Fishing Festival in Quảng Bình Province, Cấp Sắc (Maturity) Ceremony of Sán Dìu ethic community in Thái Nguyên Province, hò (a folk singing genre originating in the southern region) in Đồng Tháp Province, Páo Dung folk singing of Dao ethic community in Thái Nguyên Province, and Soọng Cô folk singing of Sán Dìu People in Vĩnh Phúc Province.
Bến Tre Province’s Sơn Đốc crackers (made of coconut milk and flour) and Mỹ Lồng rice crackers are also listed. — VNS