Vietnam Time

5/8/2018 8:34:33 AM

Cao Bang: Nang Hai festival named national intangible heritage

The ethnic Nang Hai festival in the northern province of Cao Bang has been recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage.

Receiving the recognition certificate on May 7th. (Photo: baocaobang.vn)

Right after receiving the recognition certificate on May 7th, the organising board beat the drum to kick off the two-day festival in Tien Thanh commune, Phuc Hoa district.

The festival features a photo exhibition on the festival, a food festival, folk games, and a music gala.

The Nang Hai festival, in worship of the moon, is observed annually by the Tay ethnic groups in Tien Thanh commune, Phuc Hoa district, Cao Bang province

In the Tay people’s belief, mother Moon and her 12 fairies-daughters, ‘Nang Hai’, take care of the life and crops of people on earth. Therefore, every first lunar month, they host the festival to invite the mother Moon and her daughters down to earth and pray for happiness, favourable weather conditions and bumper crops.

To prepare for the festival, elders in the village pick a woman who has a happy family and is good at singing to play as Mother Moon. Fourteen ladies are also selected to play the fairies.

Offerings during the festival include a pig, a chicken, and a tray of five-coloured glutinous rice.

A traditional ceremony held as part of the Nang Hai festival. (Photo: VNA)

A tent is set up in the village and is decorated with flowers and leaves, serving as a venue to stage the festival, which will be held once every 12 nights. Every night features a journey of the fairies to invite each of the 12 ‘Nang Hai’ to join in with the celebration.

During the rituals, participants dance and sing songs featuring their aspirations and wishes.

The festival is now held biennially. Its recognition as a national intangible cultural heritage was an acknowledgement of local efforts in preserving and promoting the traditional cultural value./.

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