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Long Tong Festival
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Ruby Le

Ruby Le is keen on traveling and exploring undiscovered places in Vietnam. He loves to share travel experiences, photos, and write articles after every trip.

Long Tong Festival

Long Tong Festival is a traditional festival that always carries within itself the characteristics of nature and society; Expressing unique, diverse and rich national cultural identity; is a form of community cultural activity to meet the spiritual needs of ethnic groups in the mountainous areas of Northern Vietnam. It has a quite important role and position in the social and cultural life of the community, especially the village community.

Long Tong Festival is a very important festival for ethnic minorities in the northern highlands of Vietnam. A beauty in the culture of the mountainous people, they believe in their gods, they work hard to get sweet fruit at the end of the season. To fully take care of the whole family, they worked hard throughout a hard year and always believed that God would always protect and help them.

IMG Long Tong Festival 1

1. What is the Long Tong Festival and where does it take place?

Every year, on the occasion after the Lunar New Year, especially the full moon day of the first lunar month. All villages of the Tay and Nung ethnic groups in the northern provinces of Vietnam eagerly await the bustling festivals of the festival. Long Tong Festival (also known by other names such as: Long Tong, Lung Tung…). Also known as Ooc Tong, means down to the field (long means down, Tong means copper). Therefore, the Long Tong festival is a festival going down to the fields.

The space for holding the Long Tong Festival is usually held in a communal house yard. Or in a flat area of land in the middle of a field or mound, where it is convenient for ceremonies and celebrations. In any locality that does not have a communal house, it chooses the largest area of land in the field to organize the event.

IMG Long Tong Festival 2

2. How is the Long Tong festival unique?

This is an ancient agricultural ritual festival, opening a new production season. During the festival, there is also a ceremony to thank Thanh Hoang and Than Nong, praying for good harvests, growing livestock, healthy people, peaceful villages. And everyone and every house being prosperous and happy…

Long Tong Festival is a folk cultural and religious activity with unique cultural identities of the Tay and Nung ethnic groups in local villages. After a year of hard work, the festival opens, bringing moments of rest and serenity, allowing people to meet, visit, and congratulate each other. At the same time, it is also an opportunity for emotional exchange between girls and boys by singing then sli, luon,…

The custom of worshiping gods

When talking about the Long Tong Festival, we must first mention the custom of worshiping gods. Such as: Worshiping the Earth God (this is the god who protects and protects the local community). Worshiping the Tutelary God of the Tay and Nung people at the communal house (this is the god who manages the territory of the village, village or commune over a large area; the residence of many clans in the space of land, mountains and rivers) .

According to the beliefs of the Tay and Nung people, the village is a place where “you live and leave your soul, when you die you leave your bones”, which has a strong impact on the well-being of people and animals. Therefore, the villagers must worship the Tutelary God. On the other hand, worshiping the Tutelary God also originates from their concept. If they want to have a prosperous career, they must pray to God to bless them with good rain, peaceful winds, healthy villagers, abundant rice, warehouses, and livestock development. In addition, worshiping the God of the Tutelary God. Also commemorates the person who publicly painted, broke stone, established villages. Beside taught jobs to indigenous people.

3. When does the Long Tong festival take place?

The festival is usually held after Tet, between January 4 and 25, depending on the customs of each locality. It’s held on different days and usually lasts for 3 days.

Through studying and researching the Long Tong festival. We can see the system of cultural values, its role, position and relationship in the economic, cultural and social life of the Tay people. Nung in the northern provinces of Vietnam.

The Long Tong Festival is very rich in both ceremonies and festivals. Also can be considered a “living museum”, expressing the rich and lively spiritual life of the ethnic group.

IMG Long Tong Festival 3

4. Activities and ritual part during the Long Tong festival

4.1. Ritual part of the Long Tong Festival

The Long Tong Festival of ethnic groups in the Northern provinces of Vietnam will have a prayer ceremony for favorable weather and good crops performed by priests. The ceremony begins with the Tay ethnic ritual asking the village’s Tutelary God to open the festival. Especially thanking Thien Dia, praying to the God of Agriculture, God of Mountains, and God of Streams. During the festival, the ritual of going down to the fields plays an extremely important role.

In the first part of the festival, the villagers will choose a man with prestige, an exemplary family. And the best plower in the fields. Will represent the people in the village plowing the first plow into the field. Also considered lucky, the harvest will be rich and smooth.

After this ceremony, the villagers will continue to choose a beautiful and spacious field. Then begin to arrange offerings to the gods on an offering table with many prepared offerings. Such as: meat, poultry, and livestock that the villagers The village has raised food, wine, traditional cakes. Especially five-colored sticky rice symbolizing heaven and earth, yin and yang harmony.

The custom of the Long Tong Festival of ethnic groups

According to the annual custom of the Long Tong Festival of ethnic groups. Each village will choose 4 families to “put on the tray”, meaning the master of ceremonies will be in charge of arranging the offerings on the tray and starting the celebration. It’s offerings to heaven, earth, and gods at the festival. Depending on the economic conditions of each family, the feast can be large or small. But the must-have offerings are chicken, pork, sticky rice, and eggs.

A gong and drum will be sounded and the master of ceremony along with representatives of villages and families will conduct a ceremony to pray for a good and bountiful harvest. The master of ceremonies must be someone chosen by the predecessors, meaning that the master of ceremonies continues the tradition from a previous master of ceremonies. And at the same time is respected and humbled by the villagers.

The master of the ceremony will represent the villagers and read prayers with the content of praying for the gods to bless the country. Especially the people, good weather and wind, the proliferation of all things, good harvests, and the lives of the villagers. The people are well-fed, prosperous, and have happy homes…

After reading the prayers, Master Mo will perform the worship by splashing “holy water”. This water is brought back from the source by the most beautiful mountain girls in the village. Legend has it that whoever catches the “holy water” will have good luck throughout the year. Finally, Master Mo will read prayers and pray to the God of Agriculture, God of Mountains, God of Streams… The gods who protect the crops, health and peace of the villagers.

4.2. Activities and traditional games at Long Tong Festival

After the ceremony performed by the shaman and family heads. The next part will be the festival part of the Long Tong Festival. It’s considered the part that attracts the most tourists. Because they get to be close to the villagers and have fun with the villagers.

Folk games bear the mark of highland people: bird’s nest fighting, spinning, shuttlecock throwing, tug of war, answering competitions or plowing competitions,… in which games attract the most tourists. It’s a shuttlecock throwing contest.

Throwing is also a very popular game in traditional village festivals of the villagers. It will be played in a quite spacious area and built by a towering bamboo tree, and a circle will be placed in the area. above to throw.

It’s worth a visiti Long Tong festival

The winner’s task is to throw the shuttlecock and hit the circle hanging on the high top. The Tay people also believe that if the shuttlecock hits the finish line. And causes the cloth wrapped on it to tear, then that year all people in the village will be protected, blessed by gods, and everything will go smoothly. luck is near.

If you don’t throw the shuttlecock and tear the cloth. Then the villagers will have bad luck or disaster that year. While the throwing game is still full of fun. Specially the plowing competition of the strong young men in the village is also of interest because the fastest and most energetic plower will be found.

In addition, the Long Tong Festival of different ethnic groups is also a place for boys and girls to meet, chat, and make love through traditional songs, dances, and songs of the Tay people.

The Long Tong Festival of ethnic groups in the Northern provinces of Vietnam not only contains unique community activities. But also contains many human values. If you want to learn about this special festival, please contact our team – a professional tour operator. With a team of consultants, tour operators and local guides who are experienced, dedicated and have a deep understanding of the northern regions of Vietnam. We will take you on a journey to discover the Long Tong festival with unforgettable experiences.

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