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Hanoi to showcase H'mong New Year celebrations

Released at: 18:12, 05/01/2018

Hanoi to showcase H'mong New Year celebrations

Photo: Tuoiitrethudo.vn

Hanoi University of Culture to host New Year celebrations on January 7.

by Le Diem

Residents and visitors to Hanoi will have the chance to study and enjoy the New Year celebrations of the H’mong (sometimes called Mong) ethnic minority group on January 7.

Taking place at the Hanoi University of Culture, the New Year celebrations of the H’mong aim to introduce and promote the culture of the ethnic people among local people and tourists.

The H’mong are one of the largest ethnic groups in Vietnam, with some 1 million people. They live mostly in the mountains, 1,000 meters above sea level, in the northern provinces of Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Son La, and others, and in the north-central and central highlands provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Gia Lai, and Kon Tum.

There are various H’mong groups, such as white H’mong, black H’mong, flower H’mong, red H’mong, and blue H’mong, etc., differentiated by their costumes and languages. But they have some common cultural traits, such as their New Year celebrations.

Like many other ethnic groups, each year the H’mong celebrate New Year with ritual practices for the gods and celebrations among themselves. Relying on agriculture, the H’mong’s New Year is always celebrated at the end of the harvest, so is held at different times of the year in different regions, and is not usually at the same time as the Western New Year or Lunar New Year (Tet).

The New Year celebrations of the H’mong are divided into two parts: ritual practices (taking place at home), and the actual celebrations.

The Hanoi event will only focus on the celebrations, aiming at introducing H’mong culture and bringing a festive atmosphere for the coming Tet holiday through their customs, folk music, and traditional games.

H’mong weddings will also introduced, with some H’mong couples tying the knot in Hanoi. Weddings between H’mong people are arranged by one of three ways: the couple falling in love, the parents choosing a partner for their son or daughter, or, the most popular, “haib puj” (in H’mong language meaning “take the wife”), which allows a single man to take a single woman in his community as his wife. She can agree or disagree and can leave him after three days.

The event is being held by Action for H’mong Development, a group of young H’mong ethnic people who are living and studying in Hanoi. It was established by 12 members from northern mountainous provinces in 2015 with support from the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE).

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