The Hanoitimes - The ethnic Nang Hai festival, Moon worshipping festival of Tay ethnic people in Cao Bang province has been recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage
Right after receiving the recognition certificate on May 7, the organizing board beat the drum to kick off the two-day festival in Tien Thanh commune, Phuc Hoa district. The festival features a photo exhibition on the festival, a food festival, folk games, and a music gala.
In the Tay people’s belief, mother Moon and her 12 fairies-daughters, ‘Nang Hai’, take care of the life and crops of people on earth. Therefore, every first lunar month, they host the festival to invite the mother Moon and her daughters down to earth and pray for happiness, favourable weather conditions and bumper crops.
Nang Hai Festival.
Elders in the village pick a woman who has a happy family and is good at singing to play as Mother Moon, to prepare for the festival. Fourteen ladies are also selected to play the fairies.
Offerings during the festival include a pig, a chicken, and a tray of five-coloured glutinous rice. A tent is set up in the village and is decorated with flowers and leaves, serving as a venue to stage the festival, which will be held once every 12 nights. Every night features a journey of the fairies to invite each of the 12 “Nang Hai” to join in with the celebration. During the rituals, participants dance and sing songs featuring their aspirations and wishes.
The festival is usually held every 2-3 years in the last week of the 3rd lunar month in Kim Dong and Tien Thanh communes in the province, and for a period from 1 to 3 days. Cao Bang is a province of the Northeast region of Vietnam. The province has borders with Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Bac Kan, and Lang Son provinces within Vietnam.