Tet Festival of the Xo Dang

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

The Sedang in Kon Tum province celebrate their Tet in a very simple way. They have two primary Tet celebrations: Giot Nuoc (Water drop) and Lua (Fire).

The Giot Nuoc festival is usually held when one harvest ends and a new crop begins, usually in March of the solar calendar. After a crop ends, the Sedang prepare their troughs and practice the ceremony of trough worship with the hope that the Water Genie will give the whole village an abundance of rain and a highly productive harvest in the New Year.

This trough is a tool that the Sedang people use to drain water from the stream to their water containers. These troughs are usually made of a bamboo type tree. Every household brings jars and bronze pots to the troughs to transport water home. After that, they have a big feast that lasts for several days. The ceremony to the village’s common trough is performed at the communal house by the village head or the wizard. After the ceremony, the villagers enjoy many folk games, singing and dancing.

When it is the right time to start a new crop, the Sedang organize the Fire Festival to pray to the Fire Genie for the fertility of the land and high crop yields. The Sedang usually grow their crops on the sides of the mountains, not on flat lands or terraced fields. Thus, they have their own way of planting crops.

They burn plants to clear land for farming and take the ashes to use as fertilizer, then fit the seeds into holes they have dug.

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