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Home | Vietnam | Vietnam Activities | Festival | "Nha Ma" Festival
"Nha Ma" Festival

This festival usually takes place in spring when the weather is fine, hundreds flowers bloom, nature seems to be supplied vitality and becomes nimble surprisely, maize and rice plants in the fields get rich harvest. People in the village usually gather to tell each others about stories, or immortal long poems of heroes such as Dam San, Yban, Dam Di, Y Thoa...
Men in the village on the occasion of this festival usually sculpture timbered statues of their relatives and animals such as deers, fawns... in order to ornament graves. They guide each other how to play gongs vibrately and strong and moving. Girls industriously embroider, weave and make nice bracelets or necklaces. The family which is of dead persons, repairs graves and arranges woody statues, prepares spears and broadswords, bow and arrows... to make the ceremony of sacrifice to dead persons. All graves are decorated solemnly. People set high and multi coloured bamboos around graves. Visitors come to see very crowded and offer gifts to dead persons.
The festival officially begins after the dance "Roong chieng" with the sound of gongs. During three days and nights of the festival, people together take part in dancing and singing animatedly a round small jar of wine which stands for yeast of life. While both dancing and singing, beautiful girls from the forest go out in splendid costumes so they look like fairies. They dance supplely and flexibly in the wild acclamation.
Finishing dancing is the performance of boys in the village led by a strong handsome man who looks like a knight. He dresses a G - string a loincloth with fringe, wears a sliver belt, and pheasant feather on his head. He both dances and beats on the drum in front of his chest making strong and moving sound of Western highlands forest. Next is the performance of ten healthy old men. They dance "stick - dance" - an old dance which young men in the village are not talent enough to inherit. Behind elders are six muscular boys carrying a big drum to beat it as a signal of mobilization.
Drum dancing is the high tide of the festival when other   kinds   of dance.   Stop   temporarily. Among the crowd, some young men in beautiful costumes jump out and dance intoxicatingly and disappeared into the crowd to give their positions to pretty girls. They both dance and fling silk strips with multi coloured designs embroidered. On her wrists, sliver bracelets also smash each other creating jolly sounds. Beautiful costumes with splendid colours, symmetrical body, the girls are   respected   as   scared   soul   on  clifves.   The sound of drums and gongs resound in sequence like  a conversation between lunar and solar in flourishing religion.
During three days, they dance around houses, small jars of wine and big foot frying pan. They drink, eat and play. Not only people in the village but also persons from bordering areas come to participate making the whole western plateau bloom strong vitality and full of love.

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