Tet Holiday of Thai People in Mai Chau Valley
Visiting Mai Chau, it’ll be a fascinating memory for you if you visit there in spring, the time of Thai people to celebrate their most significant event of the year.
Thai people preparing for Tet holiday
Thai people in Vietnam with the population of more than one million people, mainly live in the mountainous Northern provinces such as Lai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, and Nghe An.
For Thai people in many regions, they often regard the twenty-fifth of December (according to the lunar calendar) as the last and the biggest market of the year. People go to the market to buy everything and then relax for Tet Holiday.
In the morning of December 27 and 28, the elderly and the head of the village urge all people to clean the local. People start wrapping Chung cake on the twenty-ninth.
They often wrap two types of black and white Chung cakes. To make a black cake, they burn the rice straw, take the clear ash to mix with sticky rice, clean the sticky rice but keep the black.
Thai people in Mai Chau
In many places, people do not add meat, onion, and green beans into the cake because they think that the flavor of Tet Holiday in Chung cake mainly expresses in the taste of Dong leaves. That is the critical factor of the earth and heaven to offer to the ancestors.
In the morning of the thirtieth on Tet Holiday, people start boil Chung cake and pork. New Year’s evening is the final meal of the year with the presence of relatives, friends, and people drink alcohol all night.
During the New Year’s Eve, Thai people burn incense all night. After worshiping the New Year’s Eve with fish, meat, cake, brocade, and silver items, etc., any family having gong also hit it and dance together. Thai people usually have the custom “calling the soul.”
The “Calling the soul”
On the evenings of 28th, 29th or 30th on Tet Holiday, they prepare two chickens, one for worshiping the ancestors and the other for calling the soul of people in the family.
To call the soul, the shaman gets a shirt of each person, ties together, and pulls up the shoulder. He holds a burning stick, and then brings it to the gate of the village to call the soul about twice to three times, then calls again at the foot of the stair.
Spring festivals of Thai people
After all, the shaman himself ties a black thread on the hand of each family member to avoid evils. If any family member cut the ribbon, that person will quickly get an illness or bad things.
In the morning of the 1st on Tet Holiday, people often get up early, get a little water boiled Chung cake for each person to drink. The women in the family bring “xoi” to the middle compartment for worshiping home ghost (they are not usually allowed to be there).
Then they prepare two or three trays for worshiping. The plate placed above is for the ancestors of the husband family, and another one below is for the ancestors of the wife family.
After worship, all the boys in the family retire to the inner compartment so that the women eat first and this is the only day like that in the 1st day of the New Year. (Women often enjoy meals with or after men).
Visiting each other
On the 1st day of New Year, Kinh people forbear to visit other people’s houses early, while Thai people flock to houses of each other on this day.
They only forbear to throw away “dong” leaves down to the floor and sweep the house on the first day on Tet Holiday. On the evening of the 1st day, they organize the Thanksgiving.
From the afternoon of the 1st day, young people start going out without being controlled by parents and enjoy meals; even they can go out until after the 10th day of Tet Holiday or the full moon day of January.
The beautiful scenery in Mai Chau
There are many quite exciting games including playing badminton (chicken feather shuttlecock), throwing “con,” “khac luong,” hitting the drum, gong, singing, and dancing, etc.
To help visitors have an opportunity to participate in the unique culture and to soak up the Tet atmosphere of the Thai people, Mai Chau Trek provides Mai Chau Ninh Binh tour, tour Mai Chau 1 day, 2 days, and 3 days with interesting New Year activities. Like and share the article if you find it useful. Thank you.