Recreate the Praying for Rain Festival of Kho Mu Ethnic Group

(LVH) - This morning, 16/11/2015, at Kho Mu ethnic villages, Ethnic villages Zone I, Vietnam National Villages (Dong Mo, Son Tay, Hanoi), Kho Mu Ethnic Group come from Dien Bien province has recreated the Praying for Rain Festival which has been known as agricultural rituals typical of economic life as well as the traditional culture of Kho Mu. This is one of the activities within the framework of the Week of "National Great Solidarity - Vietnam Cultural Heritage" held at the "Village" from November 15 to 23, 2015.

The Praying for Rain Festival have appreared from the immemoial time in the mind of Kho Mu and usually held on April 15 every year. Kho Mu have a notion that after sowing, with aspirations high yield crops, the Praying for Rain Festival must be organized to wish the protection from the gods for crops from droughts and pray for convenient rain and wind, and the prosperous home.
for Kho Mu, the Praying for Rain Festival includes two parts: the ceremony is the ritual worship of deities invited to enjoy offerings; festival part is the dancing and playing the ethnic folk games.
The first is the ancestral ritual. This ceremony is done at the shaman. Workship trays need to be placed under the altar of the ancestors in the shaman including: boiled cock, sticky rice, two chopsticks, two spoons, a bowl of soup, a bowl of chili, a bottle of wine, a little clean water. Once prepared, the shaman ancestors professed invite family, ancestors of the villagers relatives, has vowed to invite, just make worship movement. Shaman holding hands sticky rice with chicken meat on a platter along with notions to invite grandparents, ancestors for offerings.


Recreation of ancestor worship ceremony at shaman’s house

After ancestor worship, they celebrate praying for rain festival on fields. The offerings include: 2 chicken (1 cock and 1 hen), 2 two women's clothes, one bracelet, one necklace, 4 color self-woven fabrics of Kho Mu people (green, black , white and red), two cups of wine placed on the plate, one bottle of wine, lime, betel leaf, tobacco, sticky rice, salt, one bowl of soup, one gourd containing water and 4 rice ears to pray for rain for lush rice. After preparation done, offerings are brought to the field selected and cleaned by villagers, offering tray will be put the field, on the bamboo grill having been built and there banana tree with enough root and top besides.


Shaman prepares for divine worship


Shaman knees down on the ground, his hand tosses halved bamboo segments
for drawing lots

Shaman turns on candles up the workship trays, pours wine into two cups and invocates four directions and god. While executing workship procedures, he uses halved bamboo , then he knelt to the ground and roll halved bamboo on the ground. If the bamboo sides and back meant the gods have not received, when one side back, one side facing the agreed, but when both the ground face down, then, the gods got the workship offerings invited by village people.


Shaman holds gourd containing water and pours water on banana leaf and sprinkles water on people attending the celemony

Stopping praying, shaman holds gourd containing water to pours banana leaves and sprinkles water on people attending the ceremony, with the notion that water drops from that gourd are sacred water drops of gods coming to attend and receive offerings and will meet the aspirations of the villagers.


Bringing offerings out flat ground for Earth God Worshiping 


Earth God Worshiping

At the end of the Praying for Rain Festival on field, the shaman will also workship for the Earth God who was known as the protector for village from evils. For avoiding falling, drinking, arguing ... he invites the Earth God to share a joy and bless for villagers. Trays for the Earth God include two chickens (1 cock and 1 hen), two cups of wine, 1 cup broth, 1 plate of betel, be offered together with musical toy of the festival. The Shaman hands and pray god worshiped the Earth God. After workship finished, villagers and relatives eagerly played the game, dancing, singing imbued with cultural identity of ethnic Kho Mu, such as tug of war, sword dance, throwing , bamboo dancing…


Recreation of working life of Kho Mu people through some games


Bamboo dancing


Tug of war

The Pray for Rain Festival of Kho Mu people embodies the spirit of optimism, faith in life, nature, the desire of the people to a life of plenty and happiness. This is an opportunity for people to meet and exchange production experiences, discuss the health of each other, to be engaged in dances, folk games imbued with the traditional culture of ethnic Kho Mu. It is also an occasion for vilalgers to introduce to the people, tourists cross the unique cultural beliefs, thereby, increase exchanges, enhance mutual understanding between ethnic communities.


Travelers and ethnic minorities participate in the festival

H.Huyen - D.Loan