Go to Tay Giang to enjoy the Co Tu's new rice harvesting festival

By P.GIANG – L.A.CUI |

(QNO) - The traditional dances, songs and gong performances…made the local residents and tourists happy in the days of the festival to welcome a new abundant rice harvested crop. This was also an activity to develop cultural and sustainable tourism of Quang Nam province.

The Co Tu ethnic group in the Festival of New Rice Harvesting.
The Co Tu ethnic group in the Festival of New Rice Harvesting.

Being held on 14  March 2014 at Co Tu traditional village common house in Tay Giang district, this annual festival is one of the splendid and traditional cultural activities of the Co Tu ethnic groups living in three mountainous districts Dong Giang, Nam Giang, and Tay Giang of Quang Nam province. It is organised to thank the Gods for bringing peaceful days and a bumper rice crop to the villagers and to pray for another happy, healthy, lucky, prosperous new year and favourable weather for their food production.  It is also an opportunity for local people to worship, enjoy and share together an old happy year and a good crop.

Wearing traditional dress to participate in the festival.
Wearing traditional dress to participate in the festival.

This year, the festival was restored following the formal worship and custom of the Co Tu people, in which the most strong impression is “Buffalo stabbing ceremony”.  All things for this ceremony  such as gathering gongs players, Tang tung ya ya dancers, growing a pole, offerings to the Gods worship ceremony were planned and prepared some days before. All local residents took part in the festival in their new beautiful clothes. All of them made  The Co Tu Cultural village space of Tay Giang district , where the festival was held,  strong and grand in the Truong Son  jungles.

The old men singing, speaking the Ly to show their gratitude to the God for a bumper crop and harmony weather.
The old men singing, speaking the Ly to show their gratitude to the God for a bumper crop and harmony weather.

 One day before the ceremony, many local residents came to the big Guol house (a kind of communal house). The sound and  rhythms  of drums and gongs performance mixing in the strong and rhythmical Tang tung ya ya dances made the festival space more interesting and happier. The ceremonies of buffalo receiving, growing a pole, giving offerings to the Gods were also held to open the festival in the morning. In the Guol house, many people sang and spoke Ly (Ly: a distinctive improvisational art genre, which has been transferred from generation to generation), played drums and sang Pa Lu. In the morning after, the main and formal Buffalo stabbing ceremony began with sub-ceremonies such as receiving the archery group (pénh abeec), God worshipping, buffalo stabbing and putting  the buffalo’s head in  the Guol house.

Happy face of a Co Tu girl in the festival.
Happy face of a Co Tu girl in the festival.

“The festival of new rice harvesting is one of the most important traditional cultural festival of the Co Tu ethnic group in Tay Giang district. Through this event, we want to send everyone the message of “hand in hand” to preserve the Co Tu people’s cultural characters an well as introducing the unique cultural features of our peoples to tourists. It is also a chance to strengthen the solidarity betweenethnic groups in the district as well as  greeting the good achievements of Tay Giang district after ten years of reestablishment and social-economic developments,” said Mr Clau Nghi, head of the Festival Organizing Board.

Watering-one of the important sub-ceremonies to Giang (God) before beginning the Buffalo stabbing ceremony
Watering-one of the important sub-ceremonies to Giang (God) before beginning the Buffalo stabbing ceremony

Coming to Tay Giang district to enjoy the festival, many tourists were very happy because they had one more opportunity to understand and experience an important and significant cultural event in a mountainous region of Quang Nam province, an interesting destination on their way of discovering Vietnam charm. They left this land and expected to come back soon.

The Tang tung Ya Ya traditional dance.
The Tang tung Ya Ya traditional dance.
The sound of Khen (pan-pipe - a traditional musical instrument) greeting the festival.
The sound of Khen (pan-pipe - a traditional musical instrument) greeting the festival.
Những chàng trai Cơ Tu khỏe mạnh biểu diễn điệu cồng chiêng
Strong and healthy Co Tu young men performing gongs.
The Kids’ gong performance from Lang commune in the festival.
The Kids’ gong performance from Lang commune in the festival.
Buffalo stabbing ceremony - the most sacred event of the festival.
Buffalo stabbing ceremony - the most sacred event of the festival.
Throwing the buffalo’s tail to the pone top: the festival has been successful.
Throwing the buffalo’s tail to the pone top: the festival has been successful.

By P.GIANG – L.A.CUI