Tet Festival of Tay People

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

The Tet festival of Tay ethnic people starts on the 30th of the last lunar month to the morning of the third day of the New Year. On the seventh day of the Lunar New Year, they go to work in field, but only as a formality. On the 15th day of the first lunar month, they celebrate Tet festival again.

Different from Thai ethnic people, Tay ethnic minority’s taboo is that a person who is not invited to come their home on the first day of the Lunar New Year. The first caller on New Year’s Day chosen is a virtuous person or a person well respected in the hamlet, and they especially refrain anyone in mourning. On the first day of the Lunar New Year, Tay ethnic men usually go to their parents-in-law to wish a Happy New Year and the third day of the New Year to wish magician.

The spring is the lull in the year for the Tay people in Thanh Hoa commune, Lang Son province, to relax and wear beautiful clothes and pay Tet visits to their relatives. The most exciting activity is the lion dance. For several months before Tet, lion dance troupes have practiced to have the best good-luck-praying-performances for the community. From noon of the first day of the new year, the communal lion dance troupe begins to visit every household.

Some folk games are also played during the Tet such as con-ball throwing game. After the Tet, Tay ethnic group organize Long Tong festival, meaning going to the rice field.

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