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The custom of providing lamps for male Dao Tien people

HOA BINH – Dao Tien people in Da Bac district, especially men, consider the ceremony to be an important ritual marking a step of maturity.

Lap Static is also known as the naming ceremony (or the maturation ceremony, the ceremony of dignity) depending on the region with different callings. This is a characteristic of the Dao Tien people. Every boy Dao Tien, when he is 9-12 years old, has to go through this ceremony to be officially recognized as an adult.

Before the ceremony, preparations were carried out, especially the “cheo cheo” dance. Men of all ages, from old to young, dance in circles, according to the sound of the priest’s drums. This age hierarchy represents a life cycle, having a child – middle – old enough, also shows the mutual support and protection of generations in the village.

The main resting ceremony lasted from midnight to morning, until the appropriate name was chosen. The name of identity (or negative name), to protect the child from misfortune and always peace, good luck in the future. Depending on the conditions and level of the priest, choose to hold the ceremony of 3 lamps, 7 lamps or 12 lamps. In Da Bac, the Dao Tien people usually make 3-lamp offerings. With as many lamps as possible, the equivalent of the number of priests participating in the ceremony.

The custom of providing lamps for male Dao Tien people
High-grade painting for the ceremony of establishing stillness in a Dao Tien’s house. The ceremony is usually held in November, December or January, February (lunar calendar) every year, the leisure time. Photo: Nguyen Hoang

Ceremony of Dao Tien people varies according to regional culture but always includes chicken, wine, pork, rice … The owner must prepare at least a pair of pigs (one male, one female) to slaughter the day before.

The boy is changed into a ceremonial suit with a crow’s beak hat and a robe, and sits down in front of the colorful pictures. In the simplest resting ceremony, there are 6 identity pictures with the images of gods and saints according to folk conception. It is believed that they will protect the baby for the rest of the life. Accordingly, the ceremony is the child’s presentation to the gods to give thanks and trust.

In order to preserve the full sacredness of the ceremony, about a month before that, all performers had to be vegetarian, stay away from male and female relations and take frequent baths. Especially because the ritual is only for men, the wives and grandmothers still keep the normal routine.

The shamans conduct reciting the cleansing sutras, pray for the child’s peace, while the shamans perform the rites throughout. After completing the disinfecting procedure, the priest will walk around the baby and take in the lamp. The light is a candle that stands on the bottom of a bowl of rice, with a total of 3 lights placed on the child’s shoulder and head. 

At this time, the shamans continue to recite the sutras, and the priest will plant tattoo cards to choose a suitable name. The tattoo card is made from two halves of a bamboo tube. First of all the teachers will choose the name, and then plant the card. The successful seeding of the hexagram is enough to have twice with face and face up at the same time, proving the consent of the god, from now on the baby will take on a new name, along with the birth name.

The monks performed the ceremony. The Dao Tien do not burn incense to worship. After the name is finished, one lamp will be placed on the altar, the other 2 will be placed under the ceremony. Photo: Nguyen Hoang

Men who have passed the ceremony will have a different role. The Dao Tien people evaluate maturity not by age but by the ceremony of static establishment. A child, once named, will have the right to eat the tray and participate in village meetings. Meanwhile, the elderly, middle-aged people who have not passed the ceremony still have to share the tray with the unnamed children and do not have the right to make big decisions.

At the end of the ceremony, the attendees were invited to many specialties by the host, such as sour meat and wine – two precious dishes that were only entertained on a quiet day. Baskan wine is a specialty brewed wine of the Dao Tien people, has a mild aroma, is stored in storage for the whole year before being released to guests. And sour meat is a different dish for the Kinh people. This type of meat must be kept in fermented rice for 3 years, waiting for the big holiday to open. The meat has a salty taste, very suitable for eating with herbs and alcohol. Follow vnexpress

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