March, the season of festivals in Tay Nguyen

March, the season of festivals in Tay Nguyen - ảnh 1Photo: Duong Giang (TTXVN) 

The Central Highland festival season begins in early January and continues through March. During these three months, people gather in the local communal houses to sing and dance and pray for a good harvest.

In their communal house, the Xo Dang sing and dance to gong music and recite epic poems about their history. Xo Dang festivals are always associated with agriculture for example, they have a New Rice festival and a Festival to Pay Gratitude to the Rice Genie. During a worshiping ceremony in the communal house, the village patriarch reports to god and genies on the villagers’ farm work and places on a tray their offerings of new rice, chicken, and pork.

March, the season of festivals in Tay Nguyen - ảnh 2

The villagers prayed for a good harvest, and a prosperous and happy life. After the ceremony, they sing, dance, play gongs, and share a meal. In Khao of Dak Ang commune, Kon Tum province, said: “All the inhabitants of my hamlet attend a gong concert and a feast. After worshipping, we invite each other to eat the new rice with chicken and pork. For two days, everyone has fun under the benevolent eye of the patriarch."

The Jo Rai and the Bahnar celebrate the Lih cult to express gratitude and pray for good health. People thank the Yang for giving them a bountiful harvest, express gratitude to their parents, and wish for a better life. The offerings include a chicken for Yang and Potao, the Genie of Fire, and pork for the deserving people. Sometimes an ox is sacrificed to feed all the villagers. A ceremony is conducted by each family.

For the E De, March is a time to organize communal prayers for rain and conduct a friendship ceremony. The patriarch and the villagers plant a ritual pole and prepare offerings: carved wooden oxen and buffaloes, glutinous rice, and pork. The patriarch pays homage to the genies and prays for a good harvest for the village.

Aê H"Nguk lives in Ayun village in Buôn Mê Thuôt city: "The ceremony to solicit rain is an important rite among the Ede. We ask the genie to protect us, bring us mild weather, ward off natural disasters and drought, and produce a bountiful harvest of rice, maize, and coffee. We have maintained this cult generation after generation. "

March, the season of festivals in Tay Nguyen - ảnh 3

In spring, the Bahnar organize a ceremony to honor the Genie of the Fountain. For the Bahnar, water is vital. Before the ceremony, they repair and clean their fountains and communal house. Everyone in the village contributes offerings. They celebrate the festival for several days. Any visitor during this time is treated like family.

Many other festivals, for example, the Abandonment of the Tomb Festival and several Buffalo Sacrifice Festivals—are celebrated here in the springtime. They all express communal solidarity, respect for traditional culture, and love for the nation.