To fully understand a country’s cultural features, you have to come to its festivals and holidays. It can be said that festival is a panorama of a place’s culture and so does Sapa. Being a mountainous area with many ethnic tribes live together, cultural features in Sapa are very diversified and rich. Come to Sapa at any time of the year, you can have chance for coming to many unique festivals here.
Roong Pooc festival of Giay people
Annually, on dragon day of lunar January, Roong Pooc festival is opened by Giay people in Sapa to pray for harvests and nice weather conditions. Initially, the festival belonged to Giay people; however, after many years, it now becoming the festival of Muong Hoa valley. Beside unique ceremonies, the festival also has many interesting performances like sing, dance, drum ,…
Nao Cong festival
On dragon day lunar June each year, people of Mong, Dao, Giay ethnic tribes at Muong Hoa valley are attracted to a temple in Ta Van village to hold Nao Cong festival. The must is that each family has to choose a person to go to the festival. In the festival, after praying ceremony for a peaceful life and harvests, all attendants will be showed general regulations by the leader and then having feast together.
Dancing Tet festival
This is an important and well-prepared festival of Dao people in Ta Van village which occurs on the first or the second day lunar January each year. Like many other festival, dancing Tet festival is a ceremony of people to pray for harvests, peace and to pay a tribute to the ancestors. In the festival, there is a great dance performance of boys in the village with 14 beautiful dances and unique ritual ceremonies.
Nhan Song and Nao Song ceremony
Unlike many other ceremonies in Sapa, Nhan Song festival is a ceremony of Red Dao ethnic people in Ta Van village to raise the awareness of people towards deforestation. Therefore, the ceremony is only held in the years which forests are destroyed by grazing buffaloes and horses. The festival is an educational program of ethnic people. In the ceremony, the leader also the forest protector will announce regulations about deforestation for people to obey.
Also, Nao Song is somehow like Nhan Song ceremony as it is the ceremony of Mong people in Seo My Ty, Den Thang, Ta Van and Lao Chai with the purpose on protecting the forest. The festival is held on the dragon day of lunar January with some extensions over Nhan Song ceremony. Beside educational regulations on protecting the forest and grazing cattle
, the regulations in the ceremony also recommend to robbery, harvest protection, cooperation of all people in the tribe.
Sweeping ceremony of Xa Pho
It is a ceremony of Xa Pho which is held on the horse day, goat day or human day in lunar February. The aim of the ceremony is to pray for a peaceful and prosperous year. In the ceremony, people in the village contribute cattle, foods … to make a gift to ghosts. While the shaman do the ritual ceremony, all the people with their face painted are dancing together. After the ceremony, they all together have feast and all the food must be ate, no one can bring the remnants into the village.
Gau Tao festival of Mong people
Gau Tao is an important part in Mong’s culture. The main reasons of the festival are well-being and destiny purposes. For those who do not have baby, infertility or do not have a boy, they will have a shaman held a Gau Tao festival to pray for a new baby. Also, those have pain, illness, and dead children, crop failures … also hold Gau Tao festival. The festival is often held in the early year.
Field trip festival
The festival is organized on 8th lunar January by Tay and Dao people in Ho village. The ceremonies of the festival are soil procession, water procession and ritual ceremony. The festival has many exciting activities like dancing, singing performances of Dao and Tay people. The distinction of the festival is the spreading dance; the beautiful girls in colorful costume will dance in the drum and the trumpet of ethnic boys. Also, there are many games in the festivals like tug, blind man bluff … with various kinds of entertainments.