The ceremony of making friends of the K’Ho people in Central Highlands

Lam Dong Province in particular and the Central Highlands in general do not only own the image of the colorful flower carpets, but they are also famous for preserving the most beautiful cultural features of the K’Ho – Central Highlands.

Among several traditional festivals of the K’Ho, there is a unique festival, which brings joy, excitement and increases interactions and solidarity for the people in their villages as well as other tribes, that is the ceremony of making friends.

In the long-ago days, in the mind of the K’Ho community, people have been convinced that their lives are governed by divine gods, those who bring the most practical benefits for people’s life such as: Rice God, The God of the trees, the God of the forest As a part of the agricultural people they assume the concept of “spirit beings” (animatism) so in the life of the K’Ho, there are many rituals and festivals in the year such as Agricultural ritual, new rice ceremony, rice harvest ceremony, name-giving ceremony…

the ceremony of making friends of the k'ho

the ceremony of making friends of the k’ho

K’Ho’s ceremony of making friends takes place during people’s free time

there is unanimity among the villages and tribes participating in the ceremony so there is no fixed time. In order for the festival to be well organized, the chief of the villages together with other prestigious people in the community discuss the timing of the ceremony as well as make preparations for the holiday, and allocate tasks for each participant.

Long ago, in the K’Ho ceremony of making friends, there was the buffalo- stabbing ritual. But in recent years, together with a campaign to build cultural life in residential areas and avoid violent activities, buffaloes are replaced by pigs, the chosen pigs must be cleaned the previous day and tied to the pole in the middle of the village, so that the village chief on behalf of the community can make offerings to the holy spirits for the purpose of inviting the holy spirits to attend the ceremony, also praying God (Yang) for a successful ceremony, people become more intimate, closer, sharing each other difficulties and sorrows in life. Then pigs are slaughtered and processed into traditional dishes and everyone eat happily together with traditional Can wine.

k'ho people in central highlands

k’ho people in central highlands

Around the ceremony area, there are many interesting folk games

Stilt-walking competition, tug of war, climbing greasy pole attracting the attention of many people, who are exciting fans creating close attention and excitement for the ceremony.

Particularly, in order to enhance the interaction among K’Ho villages and tribes, in the ceremony, the singing contest of the boys and girls cannot be missed, they not only show off their talent through the singing of traditional songs, but their sweet voice through the lyrics made many boys and girls choose their suitable “partner”.

the k'ho ladies

the k’ho ladies

If daytime is the proper time to organize folk. games, then when the sun has come down the mountain, dried wood is piled high in the yard, the flickering flames drive away the cold of the jungle, only the sounds of the the gongs and chimes are heard, resounding throughout the villages, mixed with the singing and the laughter of the participants When the people are drunk by the sweet flavor of Can wine, then, people, old or young, hand in hand walk around the fire, dancing traditional folk dance and singing folk songs…

The ceremony of making friends usually takes place two to three days, after which people together clean up and return home to work, continuing their daily chores. The ceremony is really an opportunity for people to participate in community cultural activities, bringing much joy and understanding in the life of the K’Ho. After the ceremony, people unite, show more mutual concern, social justice and philanthropy is increased, cohesion and unification of the villages become closer and closer.

By Quang Binh

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