There are many strange customs on New Year's Day in some regions of Vietnam that when you hear about it for the first time, you are both surprised and curious with the special traditional beauty of ethnic minorities.
- The custom of calling buffaloes to eat Tet of the Muong people
A few days before Tet, the Muong people in Hoa Binh prepare a mule to burn torches to call the buffalo. They believe that it is a way to repay loyal pets who have worked hard to help their owners cultivate.
In addition, the Muong here also hang tube cakes on production tools such as plows, harrows, and poles to invite these "companions" to celebrate Tet with their families. They believe that a buffalo or a plow also needs a Tet holiday after a year of hard work in the field.
- See fortune telling
People here often look at pork feet (boiled chicken feet) on the first day of the year to know good and bad omens and how to do business.
Close the door firmly and firmly to catch the right moment
On the night of the thirtieth New Year, the people in Ha Giang together close all the doors, windows, front doors, back doors, back doors, armpit doors, and open doorways all have to be sealed. After closing all the doors, the householder takes the bowl of water from the altar down to clean, scrub and change the water.
At that time, the New Year's Eve ritual was started. On the same New Year's Eve, with the door closed, the family often secretly cooks a pot of chicken porridge for the whole family to eat.
After eating porridge, the new owner made a ceremony to ask for new water into the worshiping water bowl. This is to keep the house a secret from the outside. According to the beliefs of the people, if it is revealed, the family will work hard in the new year, and the children will be sick.
Early in the morning of the first day of the Lunar New Year, the people in the house with flintlocks were at the side door, and the back door went to the yard to shoot 3 times. After the explosion, everyone in the house opened the doors to celebrate the new year. At this time, the custom of keeping secrets on New Year's Eve was lifted.
Black Chung Cake for the Old Year, White Chung Cake for the New Year
On the evening of the 29th day of Tet, the Pu Peo people in the highland region of Ha Giang, the Pu Peo people pack black chung cakes to bid farewell to the old year. It's still the same sticky rice with bean paste, but the rice is dyed black with non-toxic forest leaf juice, and the filling is made of black beans or black sesame.
Cakes cooked in the night are offered to see off the old year in the early morning of the 30th New Year, when the rooster crows in the morning - people believe that this will close the bad luck and risks of the old year.
On the night of the 30th New Year, they will pack white Chung cake with white sticky rice, green bean paste with yellow shell or white bean filling. The cake is boiled in the night and taken out when the rooster crows in the morning to worship the ancestors to welcome the new year. People believe that with white banh chung, their ancestors will bring them good luck and fortune for the whole year.
Wait for the rooster to crow in the morning to welcome New Year's Eve
The Lo Lo people in the border region of Ha Giang have a strange custom that on the night of the 30th New Year, waiting for the first morning rooster crow in the village to sound, then the whole community really jubilantly welcomes the New Year's Eve.
The concept of the Lo Lo people on the 30th day of Tet is the most important. The house sweeps to get rid of garbage away from home, away from the village in order to drive away risks and uncleanness. In the afternoon, people make New Year's Eve offerings, offering health and living souls for all family members.
In this ritual, men are worshiped with hens and women are offered with roosters. Production tools such as hoes, shovels, machetes, plows, and barns are all glued with yellow and silver scanning paper for good luck and are not moved during the three days of Tet.
On New Year's Eve, the whole Lo Lo community listened, impatiently waiting for the first rooster to crow in the morning. Regardless of time, sooner or later, the first sound of the rooster crowing on New Year's Eve is the sacred moment to welcome the New Year of the village. At that time, the owner of the house burned incense to worship the New Year, sent someone to carry water for good luck, and sent someone to wake the pets up with the person to celebrate the New Year.
- Calling souls on Tet holiday
To summon spirits from the evening of the 29th or 30th of Tet, each family has prepared by butchering 2 chickens, one to worship the ancestors, the other to call the spirits of the people in the house.
The shaman will take the shirt of each family member, tie one end together and put it on his shoulder. The sorcerer's hand holds a burning firewood and brings it to the village to call the spirit. After calling about 2 or 3 times, he went back to the foot of this family's stairs to call again. Finally, the shaman will tie a black thread to the hand of each family member to exorcise evil spirits.
People took chicken blood and applied it to the barn, the floor of the barn, the big doors, the windows. After the ritual of offering rice in the family, the Co Ho people invite each other to go from house to house to eat, drink, sing and dance together.
White Thai people in Son La
- Wash your hair with sour rice water
The festival of washing hair with sour rice water on the afternoon of the 30th Lunar New Year has a special meaning for the white Thai people in Son La.
They prepare bowls of rice water that has been soaked to sour and then slowly pour it over their hair.
This custom to dispel all bad luck in the year, meaning to evoke good things for tomorrow to enter the new year pure. The shampooing ceremony ends with a boat race between men and women.
Cao Lan People
- Sticking red paper in the house
According to the concept of Cao Lan people, red paper symbolizes joy and goodness. Sticking red paper on important places is to start a new year with the wish of good health and prosperity.
The first job to prepare for the New Year celebration of the Cao Lan people is the custom of pasting red paper in the house (Cao Lan is Chi Tet).
About 2 days before Tet is the day to "seal" everything that belongs to the family. From the hoe, the shovel, the knife, the plow, the harrow, the trees around the house, the barn... are all glued with red paper so that these objects can be "on Tet holiday". The whole house was suddenly dyed a brilliant red.
- Squeeze cake
Also according to Cao Lan ethnic custom, on the 1st day will visit relatives, on the 2nd day is the village. The typical dish on Tet holiday is shoulder cake (besides banh chung, donuts, and banh xeo like other ethnic groups).
On New Year's Day, any family will make a shoulder cake. It is a type of cake made from glutinous rice, wrapped in banana leaves, filled with beans and sugar. During Tet, Cao Lan people use this cake to go to Tet holidays with distant relatives. Because the cake is structured in length, it can be squeezed on the shoulder, so it is called a shoulder cake.
- Slapping the buttocks on Tet holiday
According to the old custom, Hmong boys and girls will wear traditional costumes eagerly to find the wide fields and empty spaces at the foot of the mountain to have fun and confiding. They go in groups, meet with greetings and greetings at the beginning of the year.
The boys are strong in traditional costumes and show their bravery through games: push sticks, tug-of-war, flute dance... Young girls in the highland are graceful in new dresses, shy in songs. romance, lyrical.
When the eyes have found each other, the shy girl will separate from the waiting crowd. The guy immediately came forward, slapping the girls' buttocks with his hands. If the girl agrees, she turns around and pats the guy's butt and replies sweetly.
Just like that, the couple just went to the festival and patted each other and exchanged words of love until they reached all 9 pairs, ie the two sides agreed to each other, in the presence of many people. After that, the couple held hands and went to the mountain to find a place to talk and send their promised love.
Ha Nhi People
- See fortune-telling by castrated pig liver
One of the strange customs on New Year's Day in some regions of Vietnam is that the Ha Nhi see fortune telling in the new year by looking at the liver of a castrated pig.
Every family has pork as an offering to their ancestors as an offering regardless of their family background, rich or poor, they slaughter pigs together to welcome the new year. These are boars, castrated at the beginning of the year for fattening, raised by households themselves.
When slaughtering pigs for Tet, the liver is a particularly important thing for the Ha Nhi people. In the process of slaughtering pigs, Ha Nhi people pay attention to carefully preserve the pig's liver.
They look at the healthy pig liver, the color is lush, the bile must be full, the livestock will grow in that year, the brothers and sisters will be happy and harmonious.