Tet Festival of Dao People

Following are traditional Tet holiday customs of the Dao ethnic minority in Vietnam. Each Vietnamese ethnic group has its own festivals, customs, beliefs and cultural practice. The Tet festival of the Dao people lasts about half a month, during which time many exciting cultural and community activities take place.

Tet festival of the Dzao ethnic minority usually takes place in the first month of the lunar calendar, beginning a new year with good weather and a lush green harvest. This is a nice traditional culture of Dao people.

Before the festival, Dao people usually prepare an altar. Altar column is made of four timbers, surrounded with bamboo. Inside the altar are three big round tubes, used as thuribles symbolizing sky, land and people. There is votive paper money in the censers. Space under of the alter is a bundle of sugar-cane to wish for sweet things.

At the festival, four youths wearing good clothes carry offerings on their heads to selected position from four different sides. Offering are boiled chicken, sticky cake, sweet cake and votive money paper. The offering tray must have male and female, so necessity has both cock and hen. The wizard reads aloud prayer for good weather, lush harvests, children’s successful study and happiness.

At the end of the ceremony, the people together take part in festival activities with folk game such as tug of war, pushing stick, con throwing. For con throwing, Dao people believe that if someone successfully throws at the first round they shall have much good luck.

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