The Ro Ngao people are unique in the ceremony to worship the water of the year

Every spring, the Ro Ngao community in Kon Tum organizes a jubilant water ceremony to give thanks to the gods and wish for a healthy and peaceful new year.

The sound of gongs resounded during the Ro Ngao festival /// Photo: DUC JAPAN

The sound of gongs resounds in the Ro Ngao festival.PHOTO: JAPANESE

25 km from Kon Tum city to the North, Kon Trang Long Loi village (Dak Ha district, Kon Tum province) is peacefully located on the bank of Plei Krong hydroelectric lake. This place is known as a famous tourist destination in Kon Tum. 

Also here, every spring comes, the Ro Ngao community holds a jubilant ceremony of water (or water drop worshiping).According to the village patriarch, A Thui, the water ceremony is a great festival in Kon Trang Long Loi village. The village patriarch A Thui said that since ancient times, the Ro Ngao people considered Yang Ia (the water god) as the god providing the main source of water to serve crops and bring health and peace to the villagers. 

Therefore, Ro Ngao people do not dig wells or take water arbitrarily from anywhere for domestic use. Instead, the villagers find geysers from the mountain that flow from the mountain and use the trunks to plunge into the mountain bed to bring the pure water back to the villagers. These intake points are called droplets. For Ro Ngao people, the water drop ceremony is the biggest and most important festival of the year. The ceremony is to pray to Yang Ia to bestow clean water, good health and good crops for the villagers.

Unique ceremony of worshiping the country at the beginning of the year of Ro Ngao people - photo 1Festival of Ro Ngao peoplePHOTO: JAPANESE

On the first day of the festival, the village patriarch assigns healthy young men to the deep forest to get the tallest giant umbrella tree to make decorative trees at the waterfront. The tree is considered to be the place where the spirit resides and is a symbol of the solidarity of the whole human community. Therefore, the more brilliant and splendid the tree is decorated, the more favorable and lush the crop will be. 

The village clams were also assigned to clear the weeds and clean up the passageway into the water intake (water droplets). Women in the village are tidying up, redecorating the communal house and preparing food and drinks for a big festival. When everything was ready, the village elder A Thui stood before the water drop and began making vows to invite the gods to witness, attend the ceremony with the villagers.

A unique ceremony of worshiping the Ro Ngao water at the beginning of the year - photo 2The festival takes place in Kon Trang Long Loi village (Dak Ha district, Kon Tum province)PHOTO: JAPANESE

the second day of the festival, women get up very early to prepare special dishes. This amount of food will be brought to the communal house by villagers. Young people in the village adjust the tone of the gong set; the young women of sinus dance prepare colorful brocade dresses … When all the preparations are done, the village patriarch walks around the communal house with gongs and sinuses to thank the god for helping the villagers. a good harvest.

Everyone also prayed to the gods to bless a happy and windy new year and the villagers have health to take care of the growing crop. At the end of the ceremony, village patriarch A Thui led the group of people around the yard. The villagers in turn enjoy each row of wine and the sound of gongs resounded, with flexible sinus rings one after another. 

Folk songs and improvised compositions have the opportunity to sublimate.According to old A Thui, normally the festival of the Ro Ngao community takes place in 3 days and the village council decides the activities to end at 6pm each day and start again early the next morning to celebrate. become civilized and healthy.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Tham, Director of the Center for Culture – Sports – Tourism and Communication of Dak Ha District, said that the water drop ceremony is a traditional ritual that has been handed down for generations, and has significant significance. in the community life of the Ro Ngao people in Dak Ha. The ritual is meant to pray to the gods for clean water, clear water, healthy villagers, prosperity and good crops. “Kon Trang Long Loi is one of the local tourist destinations. The organization of festivals is both to preserve and promote the national culture, while contributing to promoting local tourism development. Therefore, the local government always supports people to organize festivals ”, Ms. Tham said.

Thanh Nien Online