Ba Be national park is well known with breathtaking scenery, limestone mountain, forest, waterfalls, caves, and lakes. Besides the landscape, there are many tribal villages in the Ba Be region. Most of them are Tay minority, who live in a stilt house. Tay people also celebrate Lunar New Year as Vietnamese people, in between the end of January to February, it’s the biggest festival here.
If you are a foreigner and traveling to Ba Be national park, Vietnam in the New Year period, don’t forget to explore the interesting culture here.
What to prepare before the New Year
Before New Year’s long time, Tay people often prepare the pig, grow vegetables, bean, sticky rice, cook wine. The big pig is chosen and made to typical dishes such as smoked pork, smoked sausage, salt pork, and one part to cook the Chung cake. The Chung cake is long, is not square as the Chung cake of Kinh’s people. Chung cake is one of the traditional dishes in Lunar New Year, that is made from sticky rice, bean, pork and wrap by special leaves.
The altar is prepared carefully, clean and decorated with many offerings such as fruit, food, wine, tea. Tay people also stick red papers on the altar, the main door which represents their fortune wishing. The four legs of the altar stand near the four sugar canes which guide their ancestor came back home to celebrate New Year.
What activities in New Year festival of Tay people?
On the first day of the Lunar New Year, you shouldn’t visit any house without inviting before. Because with Tay People’s belief, the first visit will affect the luck of all year. So the owner often chooses suitable people who are a good attitude, hardworking male. They also avoid inviting the people that have someone died in their family.
On the second day, the people will visit the relative on the mother’s side. They bring a lot of gifts such as chicken, Chung cake, wine, etc. The children will be given some lucky money in red envelopes which meaning brings lucky and wealthy.
On the fourth or fifth day, all villagers will hold a “ Long Tong” festival, which mean go to the field. The youth boys and girls wear indigo clothes hang out to go to the festival. They play many interesting traditional games such as “Throwing cotton ball game, Tug of war”, etc. The meaning of this festival is wishing the good weather for cultivation, good harvesting and happy life.
Each minority group in Vietnam has different customs to celebrate the New Year, but they always wish to have a good fortune in the coming year with good weather, cultivate, healthy and happiness.
You can choose to travel with a local guide, who can explain to you the culture of Vietnamese as well as minority people. Besides enjoying the landscape in Spring, discover the different and interesting culture will make your Vietnam trip is unforgettable.
If you are visiting Vietnam during the Lunar New Year, you should learn the important phrase: “ Chuc mung nam moi” – Happy New Year!