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    Worshipping forest festival of the Nung in Ha Giang

    The Nung people mainly live in the districts of Xin Man, Quan Ba, Hoang Su Phi, Vi Xuyen Ha Giang province. They still preserve traditional cultures and customes, especially “worshipping forest festival”.

    The god of forest is called “Dong Chu” in the Nung language. According to the notion of the Nung, the god of forest is considered a sacred god that protects the villagers. Even there is any sick person in the family, they just prepare a tray of offerings with a chicken to pray the god of forest for blessing their loved one quickly recovered.

    Worshipping forest festival of the Nung in Ha Giang
    Currently, some vlillages of the Nung have their own banned forests which no one can cut trees to get firewood, talk bad words, hunt, do bad things,…there. The local people still tells sensational stories about individuals who was punished because of violating the taboos. Although the taboos are specified in the conventions of the village, any one knows and abides.

    The worshipping forest festival is celebrated in the January 30th and July 2nd of the lunar year. The local residents build a table of offerings near the oldest trees in the banned forest. The offerings are pig, chicken (unprocessed) with blood and viscera put on the tray of offerings. There are 12 cups, 12 bowls and 12 pairs of chopsticks that represents for 12 months of the year according to the notion of the Nung. In preparation for the ceremony, the Nung people  need a pig, a pot of rice, a rooster, a bottle of wine. When taking part in the festival, the Nung people bring a bundle of incense, a quire of paper, a pack of rice, a bottle of wine, a cup, a bowl and a pair of chopsticks to enjoy the party when the ceremony is ended.

    After preparing for the ceremony, the sorcerer uses the quires of silver paper to fold 12 boats that symbolize for 12 months of the year.

    In the past, each family has a man who can attend the festival. Currently, all members of the falimies are invited to the festival. The sorcerer lits five incense sticks to invite the gods to enjoy the festival with the locals.  

    The Nung people preparing the table of offerings near the oldest tree in the banned forest

    The sorcerer has to read prayings 5 times. Other people help prepare bowls of rice for worshipping the god of forest. The Nung people believe that after enjoying the festival. The god of forest will return to the old place. Therefore, the sorcerer has to read a praying to see off the god. At the end of the ceremony, the sorcerer and others enjoy fortune together.

    The worshipping forest festival of the Nung not only brings cultural feature of the agricultural population but also brings humannism that educate people protect the forest, enviroment around. With such significane, the worshipping forest festival of the Nung is a traditional value that needs to be preserved.
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