The mountainous northern province of Tuyen Quang on February 17
organised the Long Tong festival, a typical cultural feature of the Tay
ethnic people in the north.
The Long Tong festival,
which represents “going to the fields”, starts on the eighth day of the
first lunar month. It reflects local people’s desire for good crops and
The ceremony involves solemn rituals
in honour of local spirits to thank them for the crops and to ask for
their support so local people can enjoy favourable weather conditions
and have a comfortable and happy life in the New Year.
The event also features diverse folk games including ‘nem con’ (a game
in which boys and girls throw cloth balls) and tug-of-war.
Addressing the event, Director of the Tuyen Quang Provincial Culture,
Sports and Tourism Department Nguyen Viet Thanh said the Long Tong
festival is part of the Tay ethnic people’s life and reflects their
wish for favourable weather conditions and good crops, which is the most
important thing of the wet rice civilisation.
at the event, the Tay ethnic group’s Then singing rituals were
recognised as part of the national intangible heritage.
Then singing, which reflects the daily activities and expresses the
emotions of working people, is a distinctive musical genre of the Tay
communities. Then singing is practised by the Tay people in Chiem Hoa,
Na Hang and Lam Binh districts.
On December 27,
2012, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism added Then singing
rituals to the national intangible cultural heritage list.
The government has also agreed in principle with Tuyen Quang
province’s proposal to compile a dossier of Then singing in order to
seek UNESCO recognition as part of the world intangible cultural