Tet holiday of the central highland ethnic peoples

Mar 29th 2018.

The Central Highlands is a place where different ethnic groups live together on the land of the South Western Highlands… That’s why the celebration of Tet and the New Year on this land keep a distinct feature in the Central Highlands of sunshine and winds. And each ethnic group has its own type of celebrating Tet holiday, which sometimes lasts a very long time creating a special Tet festivity. Each type of Tet celebration represents the cultural characteristics of their own people.

Nho Lir Bong of the K’Ho

K’ Ho people live in Lam Dong province. They celebrate their own Tet after the Lunar New Year of the people in the lowlands at about a month, called Nhi Lir Bong, or celebration of the new rice festival. This celebration lasts the whole month. The words Lir Cotton means paddy bamboo mat. The K’ho highly appreciate the paddy and rice, for rice is the pearl conferred to them by Yang (Heaven). The new rice ceremony is held at the granary of each family, starting on late afternoon with the participation of the village chief and many other house owners. People apply the blood of the donated chicken to the granary, the floor, the large doors, and the windows. Chicken blood is also mixed with the bark of the banian tree, turmeric, the termites. The straw grass is ground to apply on the chest, the forehead of family members, then on household appliances.

After the celebration of the paddy bamboo mat in the family, K’ Ho people go from house to house to eat, drink, sing, dance and so on until the end of the month.

Nho Lir Bong of the KHo

Nho Lir Bong of the KHo

Yang Pa Tet holiday of the Cho Ro

The Cho Ro and Chu Ru live in Dong Nai, Lam Dong and Ba Ria – Vung Tau. The two large-scale festivals of Cho Ro ethnic people are the worshiping of the god of the forest and worshiping of the rice god around the third lunar month. The rice god worshipping Day is also the time for the girls to present to the village various kinds of delicious cakes such as rice cake, round sticky rice pies,… After worshiping the god of rice at home there is a collective meal hosted by the owner at the place of ceremony. Often the place of worship is the old tree in the village. They think the rice god often rests there.

Yang Pa Tet Holiday of the Cho Ro

Yang Pa Tet Holiday of the Cho Ro

New cooked rice celebration of the E De

The New cooked rice celebration of the Rhade or E De in Daklak occurs in October of the solar calendar. At that time, the rice is ripe in the rice fileds. Each family takes the papoose to the rice field to pluck rice off the ears to be dried and then grinds it and celebrates the rice crop. Depending on rich or poor families, people kill more or less buffaloes, cows, pigs, and chickens. The offerings are placed in the middle of the house that consist of one or two large jars of ethnic Can wine to be firmly tied to the base of the column and some plates of rice. The owner of the house, or the sorcerer, softly prays and says:” God Mtao Kia , God H’Bia Kiu, God Aedu, God Ale Die who have given us grains, millet, corn. On the east side of the Milky Way, near the source of the rice, please come down and witness. God Ae Nghi living on earth, God Ae Ngan in the Heaven… Do confer on us full of rice in our granary every year…”

New cooked rice celebration of the E De

New cooked rice celebration of the E De

Celebration of Water drop festival of the Xo Dang

The Xo Dang living in Kon Tum, have two main festivals: Water drop Tet and Fire Tet. Water drop Tet occurs around the third month of the lunar calendar. At the end of the season, the Xo Dang begin to repair the troughs and hold a “trough worshipping ” ceremony to pray the water god (Yang Dak) to give the villagers a good harvest, sufficient water for living and for production.

People in the village bring the large jars, the copper pots to the troughs to fetch water home, at the same time organize eating, to have fun for several consecutive days. Particularly, the “trough worshiping” for the village is held at the Communal house, where the worshippers organize lots of fun, singing, dancing, boys and girls are free to reveal their feelings.

Celebration of Water drop festival of the Xo Dang

Celebration of Water drop festival of the Xo Dang

Tomb abolition ceremony or Po-thi festival of Gia Rai ethnic minority people

Tomb abolition ceremony or Po-thi festival of the Gia Rai ethnic minority in Gia Lai province is similar to the Ba Na ethnic minority food festival but it is much larger. During the abolition period, the villagers visit each house to enjoy delicious dishes and good taste. Whenever you hear the sound of the bar, the drum, the gong resounding from the cemetery, it is the signal of the tomb abolition ceremony of a homeowner that has started. Everybody in the tribe follows each other, holding the torch burning brightly toward the cemetery to share joy with the dead’s relatives. People do not forget to bring alcohol, meat to contribute to the family food during the ceremony. Depending on the family of each household that hosts the ceremony, the ceremony is simple or copious. The homeowner stands in front of the tomb with the pole with leaves hanging red or green amulets fluttering in the wind and raises his hands toward heaven to pray Yang.

Tomb abolition ceremony or Po-thi festival of Gia Rai ethnic minority people

Tomb abolition ceremony or Po-thi festival of Gia Rai ethnic minority people

By Hai Lam

Tet holiday of the central highland ethnic peoples
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