Mong ethnic people in Meo Vac District, Ha Giang Province celebrate their New Year or Tet one month earlier than Lunar New Year.
Mong’s New Year Festival starts from November 26 of lunar calendar and often lasts for 10 days. Everyone wears their best clothes and join in the exciting atmosphere of the New Year.
Mong people in Can Chu Phin Commune, Meo Vac District, Ha Giang Province seems to be busier on the last days of the year to prepare for the New Year. After a hard-working year, the people spend 10 days relaxing.
Tho Mi Tha from Can Chu Phin Commune, said, “New Year is the time for us to have rest. We spend 10 days earlier to prepare for Tet. We prepare food for cows and pigs and firewood. One week before Tet, we boy gifts and new clothes”.
New Year atmosphere can be felt at the weekend markets. The places are crowded with many sellers and buyers.
The most popular items on this occasion are clothes, pork, spices, sugar and votive offerings.
Mr. Sung Mi Tu, the owner of a clothing shop said the sale of the goods doubles at Tet market, shared, “The sale often doubles on Tet occasion. People buy new clothes for the New Year. Clothes for Tet are diversified in terms of pattern and materials”.
Prior to Tet, houses and gardens are cleaned and decorated beautifully. Mr. Tho Mi Tha said, according to Mong people’s custom, not only people but also objects can have rest at Tet.
“Like people, objects such as knives, hoes and shovels can rest after a hard-working year. All the tools are sealed on the last day of the year. We let them rest for several days,” he added.
Pork, wine and corn cakes are indispensible at Tet of Mong people. On New Year’s Eve, Mong people offer their ancestors with a pig and a chicken to pray for favorable weather conditions, bumper crop, health and happiness.
On the first day of the New Year, the first thing Mong people do is to visit the coops and pig sty to invite the cattle’s souls to enjoy Tet. Mr. Tho Mi Sung from Can Chu Phin Commune, said food prepared for the domestic animals must be freshly cooked.
“The old year has passed and another new year has come. We invite wandering souls of cows, buffalos and chicken to have return and have fresh, new meal in the New Year,” he stressed.
Mong people are hospitable. They think that the more relatives and guests they welcome, the more luck they get for the New Year.