Ban Flower Festival
Among outstanding festivals in Northwest Vietnam is Ban Flower Festival of Thai ethnic minority, annually held in the second lunar month (Ban means “beautiful and delicious”). This is also when the warmth of “late spring” covers everywhere and Ban flower blossom is out. In other words, after the spring light rains, forests of Dien Bien look like a fairy world with a new white costume. Naturally blessed with this fabulous setting, people of the mountainous area start preparing one of the engaging events of the year.
Apart from enjoying the charming beauty of flower forests, visitors also know more about the culture of ethnic minorities in Vietnam as the festival is a great occasion when Thai boys and girls can meet, chat, and even date all day. As for the real meaning behind the event, Thai people would like to show their gratitude to their ancestors by worship and wish good harvests for their land.
Long Tong Festival
Long Tong Festival is one of the biggest and most important events of Lang Son; it is organized annually in the 4th day of the year (according to Lunar Calendar) in more than 200 villages of the province. Even though the festival is widely known as Long Tong, people name it differently in different places, such as Thong Bung Kham (in Dai Dong district), Thong Na Mon (in Chi Lang district), Long Dong (in Bac Son district).
However, no matter where it is organized, Long Tong Festival consists of the same procedures and parts: worshiping the God of agriculture, traditional games, folksong singing contests, etc. Normally, the first part of the festival, worshiping, starts very early in the morning. To begin the ceremony, Pu Mo, the head of the festival worships the gods and the kings in the main temple of the village. After that, people move to the paddy field or a high hill to worship the God of agriculture. For Long Tong Festival, people often prepare many gifts in the form of food to the God. They include boiled chicken, fresh fruits, wine and other traditional dishes.
After the worshiping procedure, the whole village celebrates right on the rice fields. They eat the tasty sticky rice and drink the irresistible yet healthy white wine at the same time. While elders are enjoying the food, young men and girls will organize and play different traditional games. Occasionally, people even invite the Lion dance team from adjoining villages to take part in a contest. They believe that if a lion comes in the spring, good luck and wealth would come to the whole family during the whole year.
Buckwheat Flower Festival
The festival is organized in Dong Van, Meo Vac, Quan Ba, and Yen Minh Districts. Although people of the mountainous region just went through two seasons of the festival, it is utterly brilliant without expectation. Not only do visitors find the overwhelming charm of the buckwheat blossom, but they also experience absorbing activities, such as camping, playing games, farming, and folk singing on buckwheat fields. Taking phenomenal photos with the background of buckwheat fields is definitely indispensable, but the backdrop will excite you so much; it is about tasting wheat cakes and wine as Ha Giang specialties.
Xoe Chieng Festival
Upon experiencing a trip to explore festivals in Northwest Vietnam as well as understanding more the culture of ethnic communities in the mountains, you’d better come here in spring and join Xoe Chieng Festival. It annually takes place in the 11th of the first lunar month and is one of the spring festivals of Thai ethnic people. All people, including locals and tourists will make a big circle around a fire and perform traditional dances. Not only that, they also send the best wishes to each other in the new year.