Top 5 unique festivals in Ha Giang that you should not miss

by Lam Pham

Join Karst Plateau to explore the Top 5 unique festivals in Ha Giang to better understand the customs, traditional beauty, and cultural values preserved and handed down by the northern mountainous peoples for generations. Surely this will be one of the highlights in your journey to discover the beauty of Ha Giang land.

1. Gau Tau Festival

Gau Tao festival of the H’Mong ethnic group in Ha Giang

The first of the Top special festivals in Ha Giang is the Gau Tao Festival Ha Giang. This is one of the most important festivals of the Hmong people in Ha Giang on the first days of the New Year. The festival is organized so that Hmong people can pray for blessings, and wish good luck and good things in the coming year.

Gau Tao means an offering, in which heaven and earth, earth, and gods have blessed the owner and his descendants to always be healthy. Through this traditional festival, they thank heaven and earth for blessing the villagers with a warm, happy life and a good harvest during the past year. This is also an opportunity for relatives and friends to meet each other after long days apart.

Hmong people express their affection and heart to each other through friendly songs, traditional dances, and warm cups of early spring wine. The characteristics of this festival are still preserved and handed down to this day.

2. Buckwheat Flower Festival

Coming to the buckwheat flower festival in Ha Giang, tourists will have the opportunity to admire and delight their eyes with the beauty of this flower in the vast fields

This festival is an opportunity for Ha Giang to promote its heritage beauty, cultural features, and tourism potential. Usually, the buckwheat flower festival takes place in the second half of the 11th calendar month every year. Each year, the venue may change, be it in Dong Van Town Stadium, Khau Vai Love Market, etc.

When participating in the Ha Giang buckwheat flower festival, visitors will have the opportunity to get closer to cultural identity, and simple life, close to the villagers here. Immersing yourself in the lives of local people is definitely one of the best and most interesting experiences in your journey to explore Ha Giang.

Besides, when participating in the festival, visitors can not only see the buckwheat flower field in the blooming season as beautiful as the fairy landscape but also have the opportunity to participate in many extremely attractive tournaments and competitions such as buckwheat flower-making contests or boat races to conquer Tu San Alley. In addition, do not forget to check in with beautiful flowers This is beautiful to bring back a whole collection of beautiful photos with Ha Giang heaven and earth!

3. Fire Jumping Festival

Fire Jumping Festival

The fire jumping festival, a custom of the Pa Theng people in Ha Giang, is usually held on the 16th day of the 10th lunar month after the harvest is completed. The rocky plateau hosts one of the most primitive and mystical festivals, where priests traditionally accept students and pass on their profession.

In the past, only students of the shamans participated in fire dancing. However, today, as fewer people pursue this profession, the young people of the village also participate.

The official ceremony begins at about 8 p.m., with a priest and a well-prepared ritual tray prepared by the host. Through the first few procedures, the shaman’s students began to jump barefoot on the fires with embers. They rushed in as if playing with fire, under the cheers and encouragement of the guests. The festival will last about 1 hour until the fire is completely extinguished.

This festival is one of the characteristic cultural features, which helps a lot in the study of traditions today. This custom and belief will still be preserved and implemented.

4. Rite of Passage Festival

This ritual is also highly educational, directing people towards the goals of living well, not doing evil

The Rite of Passage is a traditional male-only ritual of the Dao people. This festival, held at the end of the year (around November – December) or the first lunar month, signifies an important milestone for those undergoing the rite. This event marks their maturity, enabling them to begin participating in important village affairs and support the ritual masters.

This ritual is also highly educational, directing people towards the goals of living well, not doing evil. The Dao people, including the Red Dao, Dao Tien, and Dao Ao Dai have different dates and regulations on the number of people and ages of worshippers. Closer to the holiday, the family of the participant invites ritual masters with offerings, and the participant must abstain from certain things such as singing, sleeping together, quarreling, etc. During the rite of passage, six ritual masters perform various ceremonies, with prepared offerings including pigs, rice, liquor, etc.

5. Moon Bridge Festival

5.1 The purpose of the Moon Bridge Festival

Moon Bridge Festival is a festival in Ha Giang with the cultural beauty of the Tay ethnic people

Moon Bridge Festival, Ha Giang is a festival imbued with the cultural beauty of the Tay people. It is usually held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar (Mid-Autumn Festival). The festival takes place in Ban Loan village, Yen Dinh commune, Bac Me district with the purpose of welcoming Mother Moon and fairies to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival and give blessings to the villagers. Since then, pray for a good harvest, favorable rain, and harmonious wind, life in the village is always peaceful and lucky.

For the Tay ethnic people, this is one of the most important festivals and also the funniest festival. Everyone in the village from young and old, big and small participated. They sincerely offered Mother Moon the most precious products in order to invite Mother Moon to come down to earth to celebrate the full moon festival. As well as listening to the thoughts and feelings of the people here sent to Mother Moon after a year of extremely hard work and diligence.

5.2 What’s interesting about the Moon Bridge Festival?

Coming to Ha Giang during this festival, visitors will hear folk songs and participate in extremely interesting folk games

Among the top unique festivals in Ha Giang, the Moon Bridge festival takes visitors from one level of emotion to another. Bringing new experiences through unique folk songs, and extremely interesting folk games. Not only that, when coming here, visitors can also enjoy the traditional cuisine of the Tay ethnic people. Through the festival, the Tay ethnic people also teach their children and grandchildren pride and preserve traditional cultural values, imbued with their national identity.

Above are the top 5 unique festivals in Ha Giang that Karst Plateau wants to share with you. Exploring these festivals will surely adorn your trip with many unexpected experiences.  So do not miss the opportunity to learn the cultural and traditional beauty of this land of Ha Giang.

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