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Several Festivals in Da Lat

New Rice Ceremony

Time: at the same time as the Lunar New Year of Viet people

Location: In B’Lao ward, Bao Loc town.

Subject of worship: Giàng (the God in their spiritual life)

This is one of the traditional festivals of the Ma and Co Ho ethnic minorities which is celebrated to pray for good weather and to prevent wild animals from destroying their crops. It is not the only reason for them to worship the new rice. They do so to acknowledge that the younger generations shall be aware of the importance of the rice. In the ceremony, there will be several offerings like new sweet-smelling rice, a cock, a castrated hog and other wild animals, and a pot-bellied jar of wine that is drunk out of the jar through bamboo straws.

The festival begins with a ceremony to pray to the Gods by the holy man; then a wine-throwing ceremony to pray for good luck shall be performed. Finally, the participants will drink wine, sing love songs and “tam pot” folk song (the traditional music of Ma and Co Ho people) accompanied by gongs. The festival lasts through the night until the next morning.


Buffalo-Stabling Festival

Time: after finishing the crop harvesting.

Location: at the foot of Lang Biang Mountain.

Subject of worship: God of Lang Biang Mountain.

Feature: The buffalo-stabling festival – worship the God of Lang Biang Mountain is celebrated by the Lach people when there are natural calamities or on occasion of moving to another place.

When people have finished harvesting the crop, the village will celebrate the buffalo-stabling festival (sa rơpu) to thank the Gods, especially the Ndu God. During the festival, the Co Ho people kill a buffalo (offer alternately by each family in the village) and play many kinds of traditional musical instruments. The buffalo’s meat shall be distributed to each household in the village. The blood of the killed buffalo shall be applied onto the forehead of villagers to ask for luck and happiness. Depending on the actual situation of each family, they may prepare more dishes made from many other animals for their party. After the festival, the new rice shall be used and people can start building houses or moving the village.