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Festivals in Ha Giang – Vietnam

Fire Jumping Festival: 

Mentioning about festivals in Ha Giang, fire jumping of Pa Then ethnic minority should not be missed. This festival is indeed one of the most mystical and special one. After Tet, Pa Then people usually organize fire jumping festival for local civilizations to enjoy.  Unlike other festivals in Ha Giang, fire jumping festival bears strongly mystical features.

The festival begins with a ritual conducted by an old magician calling for undead spirits to enter living bodies of 12 young males. After being “strengthen”, those men would be able to jump on burning coals without any damage and perform traditional dances. They may even eat coals to entertain spectators.

Gau Tao Festival: 

Gầu Tào Festival is the major spring festival of Hmong people living in Ha Giang. The meaning of it is “spring mountain festival”, which usually occur on the second day of a Lunar New Year and last until the end of the third day. The hosts of the festival are families that have given birth to their first son in the year, to thank gods and all friends and relatives.

After a ritual, an indispensable part of the festival is Khèn dancing, followed by group singings. Then, people tear a part to enjoy traditional games like longbow competition, spindle, Pao swing, and Gau Plenh singings between young males and females. Although winner of these game are only rewarded with a bottle of corn wines, everyone takes part in very enthusiastically and enjoyably. Gau Tao Festival consists of most of the cultural activities of Hmong people.

Long Tong Festival:

With the largest number of people, Tay and Nung ethnic minorities share a similar festival named Long Tong, which is actually an opening ceremony wishing for another prosperous agricultural season.  Long Tong Festival is held on the largest paddy field in front of the tribe.

Each family would donate a full tray of meat, wine, cakes, and five-color-sticky rice for worshiping the God of Heaven. After that, everyone takes part in a wide range of traditional games together such as Tung Còn, spindle, tugging, and singing, etc.


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