Parents Thanksgiving ceremony of the Central Highlands ethnic minorities

In the cultural traditions of the Central Highlands ethnic minorities, there still exists a long-lasting thanksgiving ceremony to parents (the Jrai call it Chal mo ne ko mi ma (teh ro mo ko mi ma bui); while the Ba Na name it Khop bone ko me pa). This parents thanksgiving ceremony is usually held after harvest time (Ning nong), after the new rice ceremony. This ritual is held by married sons and daughters who have their own home and their business prospers. They will voluntarily inform their clan, their parents about their wish to celebrate a thanksgiving ceremony to thank their parents for giving them birth and bringing them up.

Thanksgiving ceremony to thank their parents for giving them birth

The grown-up, fully-fledged children will hold a so-called Thanksgiving ceremony to thank their parents for giving them birth and bringing them up. This is a really beautiful feature in the cultural life of the ethnic community in the Central Highlands.

Parents Thanksgiving ceremony

Parents Thanksgiving ceremony

Depending on the child’s economic condition, they will decide on the offerings (if they are rich, they kill a cow, otherwise, a large pig, a chicken and a jar of good wine). Although the Thanksgiving Ceremony is dedicated to families and clans, the ceremony is solemnly held for two days. Usually the first day is for the family members, and the next day the child invites relatives in remote villages to feast together happily. On the day agreed beforehand by their parents, the child’s family will bring the offerings to the parents’ house, usually: A jar of good wine which is placed in the middle of the house and people begin to slaughter the chicken and the pig (or cow). The animal’s blood is applied to the wine jar, part of the raw liver of the animal is threaded through the bamboo and tied on the mouth of the jar to worship ancestors and another part to offer holy spirits in the outdoor. Chicken and pork are grilled stringed into the bamboo and tied to the tree where the wine iar is bound. They will take a branch of forest leaves to dip into the wine jar and then slightly sprinkle wine on the parents and children. Then parents and children will take turns to pray divine spirits, ancestors, and invite them to enjoy the offerings and witness the filial gratitude of the descendants. They thank them for blessing them with wealth, prosperity, safety, peace, and happiness After that, the eldest son himself will make delicious dishes for his parents. It is usually the best appetizing dishes preferred by his parents Chicken will be boned to make porridge; the pork tenderloin will be grilled.

After the preparation, the son brings the food to his mother and invites her to eat first and invites her to drink the first jug (can) of Can wine and then his father, also recalls his childhood raised by his mother, thanks to her breast-feeding milk, and his father to educate he would have grown up as he is now The mother and father accept his gratitude and thank him for his piety, his gratitude, and wish that he would not get sick and prosper.

Jrai ethnic minority people

Jrai ethnic minority people

Parents Thanksgiving ceremony is equally held for both the paternal and maternal sides

If only his mother is alive and his father is dead, after accepting the son’s offering the mother will invite her deceased husband to witness the thanksgiving ceremony or if the mother died before the offerings are for her first, and the father will eat afterwards. After the mother tasted the jug of Can wine, she is considered to have accepted the child’s offerings. The wine is passed on to the father and to the children, usually the offspring will drink first, then daughter-in-law or son-in-law, next are relatives and finally neighbors. The fun lasts until the end of the next day.

Guests usually bring some rice, boiled eggs some money to offer the owners, wishing good things to come, and the family to be more prosperous. At times, men carry a liter of wine, the women some soft drinks or food available at home. When they come they pour wine or soft drinks to invite the host and guests who attend the ceremony. The host offers food again and they eat, drink, and sing songs happily.

And one special thing Parents is the Thanksgiving ceremony is equally held for both the paternal and maternal sides, which is celebrated by the children of both parents. Any side closer to the child will be held first and the other will select days for thanksgiving ceremony. This represents the equity in the culture of the Central Highlands ethnic people in the relationship of the two families.

Parents Thanksgiving ceremony, or the pigs sacrifice ceremony has a traditional beauty and profound human values. The ceremony not only leaves a good impression on each participant also greatly but affects the ethnic communities. It creates the strength of solidarity of the clan and the village community. This good custom will continue to be maintained, passed on and promoted forever.

By Quang Binh

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