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    Do you know “Han Khuong” Festival in Lai Chau ?

    Festivals are one among the most activities of Lai Chau in particular and mountainous regions’ in general. Another famous festival is “Han khuong festival”, which takes place in spring. Once again, this is an opportunity for boys and girls to get to know each other by singing and dancing. “Han” means stage, “Khuong” means yard. When the festival starts, young, beautiful and unmarried girls sing love songs on the stage. Then, the boys sing songs for response. At the same time, they can look for a person who can share their feelings and then come, sit together and talk. After that, they date, and wait for the next appointment. And can you guess? After the festival, many couples get married. For old people, that is the time for memories.

    Do you know “Han Khuong” Festival in Lai Chau ?
    Not long ago, each Thai village has dozens of “Han Khuong”. “Han Khuong” is the spirit of the villages which symbolizes of the prosperity and happiness of Thai society. “Han Khuong” means the stage, which is constructed outdoor; it can be square or rectangular shape with the area of 15-20m2. The stage is 1-1.5m from the ground with bamboo floor and surrounded by bamboo net or lattice bamboo bars .There is a kitchen fire in the center of the floor to provide heat and light to people joining the festival. Notably, “Han Khuong” is decorated with 5 poles called “Lac xay”. “Lac xay” poles are made from palm trees, cutting away all leaves except the top clusters. Their bodies are painted with red, green colors and hang with the bamboo circles with colorful shapes of people, birds, cicadas, fruits... Of the 5 “Lac xay”, there is one main pole next to the fire while the other four are laid in the four corners. Each “Han Khuong” will consist of 5-10 girls (“Xao Lac Xay” group), including a team leader (called Ton Khuong) sitting at the central pole.

     “Han Khuong” is a public activity managed by Thai girls with the support of young men and the help of old people. When the construction is finished, people bring wine and meat and invite people to celebrate and begin the first “Han Khuong” night.

    At first, “Ton Khuong” and “Xao Lac Xay” take their seats. They gin cotton, spin fiber, embroider their products...and chat with young men in the cozy atmosphere. In the romantic night, by the sparkling fire, the glittering poles attract young people going to “Han Khuong”. One or two talented men are chosen in each group to sing and ask to join the stage. After checking their talents, the team leader (Ton Khuong) allow the men to join. Then the party begin and last until late night.

    Normally, the familiar participants can freely join the party; the challenges are just for strangers. The old people go to “Han Khuong” to share the happiness and teach pretty songs to young children. The children go to “Han Khuong” to watch and learn songs and nice behaviors, spinning skills. 

    “Han Khuong” is not only the place for singing where young people meet each other, it is also the place to discuss, exchange ideas of the community. “Han Khuong” is the place to teach young people about the tradition of Thai Community. “Han Khuong” nights make people relaxed and the party atmosphere warm up the Thai villages.


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    Item Reviewed: Do you know “Han Khuong” Festival in Lai Chau ? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: ThuyHang
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