The traditional ‘Khai ha’ festival and ‘Doi’ calendar of the Muong ethnic people in Hoa Binh province, have been named a national intangible cultural heritage, according to a recent decision of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Khai ha festival is an important cultural and religious activity of the Muong ethnic community. (Photo: baohoabinh.com.vn)
‘Khai ha’, which is one of four major festivals of Muong ethnic people, takes place on the eighth day of the first lunar month to greet the new year. It is an important cultural and religious activity of the community.
It aims to pay gratitude to the gods and ancestors and pray for favourable weather conditions, bumper crops, happiness and prosperity.
Doi calendar of Muong ethnic people.
Meanwhile, the Doi calendar, locally known as the bamboo calendar, was developed following the movement of the Pleiades stars and the moon. The calendar is translated through a set of 12 bamboo strips representing the 12 months.
It was once used by locals to determine major events such as weddings, and rituals. However, it has become less popular and is now interpreted by only local shamans and elders.