For the Dao Tien ethnic minority group in Moc Chau, Son La province, ‘Tet of dance’ or ‘crop-praying Tet’ is among their great festivals.
This festival is held to not only bring in the belief about a new bumper crop, a peaceful life, but also make the cultural picture of the ethnic minority group here richer and unique.
Normally, the Dao Tien big families take turns to hold the festival each year. On the festive day, small families bring offerings, such as rice, alcohol, chicken, to the house of the head of their big family.
Besides arranging offerings, family members and their neighbors also join hands in erecting “crop trees.” The trees are carefully-selected green bamboo or dracontomelum trees.
Apart from aforementioned offerings, they also make small round cakes to attach to the trees, symbolizing a bumper crop. The trees are then placed before the altar of the head of the big family.
Below are several photos of the ceremony.
The offerings are ready.
Family members in nice costumes for the ceremony
The head of the big family invites deities and ancestors to enjoy the offerings.
Attaching the cakes to the bamboo trees to pray for a bumper crop
Performing a “xoe” dance to ward off evil spirits
A tree-lowering ceremony symbolizes a bumper crop in the year.
Translated by Mai Huong