26.10.2020, 13:26

Honoring the ancestors - sacred ritual of the Lo Lo minority in Ha Giang

Honoring the ancestors - sacred ritual of the Lo Lo minority in Ha Giang
Altar of Lo Lo. (Photo: vov)

The Lo Lo ethnic group has numerous interesting festivals such as the tree festival, the festival of reunion and especially the festival to honor the ancestors. The Lo Lo ancestral prayer ritual was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of the country in 2012. This ritual takes place annually in the seventh month according to the lunar calendar. To this day, the Lo Lo ethnic group still uses the bronze drum for spiritual activities. In the ancestral prayer one wants to pray for health, a good harvest and good animal husbandry. Although all Lo Lo families have an altar for their ancestors, the ancestral honor ritual takes place in the home of the head of the families and was prepared a year ago. The headmaster should normally buy all of the offerings for the ritual and the other families in the family can contribute according to their financial ability. The offerings include a beef, a pig, a rooster, sticky rice, schnapps and a bronze drum. The head of the family was supposed to invite shamans to the ritual and commissioned a man from the family to borrow bronze drums. Two bronze drums are sacred objects of the community. A drum is considered female and is slightly larger than the one that is considered male. Two drums are only struck at the great festivals of the ethnic group and in families. This ritual is sacred and artistic and is conducted annually by administrators in Lo Lo Chai village. The chairman of the Lung Cu community's people's committee, Luong Trieu Luan, said:

“This is the second year in a row that the Lung Cu Township People's Committee is celebrating the traditional Lo Lo Festival. On this occasion we revive the dances of Lo Lo. Other popular games such as the weaving competition, embroidery competition and pig catching are also held. During the festival we enliven the ritual honoring the ancestors of Lo Lo. The festival attracted numerous tourists from home and abroad. “

Lo Lo Chai village is located on Mount Rong, next to the Lung Cu flag tower. Numerous cultural identities of the Lo Lo ethnic group are still preserved here. Lo Lo Chai village has 105 households with 500 residents. Of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, the Lo Lo ethnic group has the fewest members. The village of Lo Lo Chai is the only place where the typical features of the material and spiritual life of Lo Lo's relatives in the limestone plateau are fully preserved, from the classical architecture of the Trinh Tuong houses to the brocade fabrics. A Lo Lo costume show and a weaving competition are held during Lo Lo Culture Day. During the festival, tourists and residents can take part in popular games with the boys and girls of Lo Lo. Nguyen Thi Ha, a tourist from Hanoi, was one of them.

“When I took part in the festival, I felt happy and well. I was able to take part in all the activities of the festival with the residents and artists. This enabled me to better understand the peculiarity of the culture of the Lo Lo ethnic group. ”

The Lo Lo Ethnic Group Culture Festival in Lung Cu Parish and Ancestral Honoring Ritual 2020 are an opportunity to introduce the traditional culture and customs of the local ethnic group.

Thu Hang