The annual traditional holiday of the Mông ethnic minority group, known as Nào Pê Chầu, takes place at the end of the 11th lunar month. The event is held to celebrate the end of the harvest and spend time relaxing together.
Young people in Phì Nhừ Village, Điện Biên Province play a folk game. VNA/VNS Photo Phan Tuấn Anh
The custom has been handed down through many generations of the Mông ethnic group in the northern province of Điện Biên and takes place one month before the nation's Lunar New Year (Tết).
On the last day of 11th lunar month, people clean up and decorate their houses, and families get together to make glutinous rice dumpling. After men pound the rice into a flexible soft substance, women form the soft powder into small, round dumplings and cover them in banana leaves.
Glutinous rice dumplings are a must for the event.
Families make as many dumplings as they can to eat and to give as gifts to relatives and friends, whilst the biggest dumplings are set aside as offerings for the ancestors.
People take part in a folk game in Thẳm Phẩng Village.
Mông people believe the dumplings represent the sun, the moon and the universe, which are the origins of all lifeforms.
The ceremony always takes place in the last afternoon of the 11th lunar month early morning of the first day of the 12th lunar month. Their customs include sweeping kitchen smoke and collecting lucky water.
A ceremony of the Mông people. VNA/VNS Photo Phan Tuấn Anh
Folk singing and music played on flutes and the two-string fiddle add a festive vibe to the festive atmosphere.
After the folk art performances, young people take part in folk games to find their future partners.
Bull fighting in East Điện Biên District.
Hờ Sống Lử, head of Pú Súa Village, Ẳng Cang Commune, Mường Ảng District, said the event was an indispensable cultural activity for local people.
“It plays an important part in encouraging local solidarity, giving people a chance to look back at the past year and make plans for the new one. It also provides a chance for young people to find partners,” he said.
According to the statistics from 2009, there were over 1 million Mông people in the country, making them the sixth largest ethnic minority group in Việt Nam.
Mông people reside mostly in Hà Giang, Điện Biên, Sơn La, Lào Cai, Lai Châu, Yên Bái and Cao Bằng. VNS