Unique procession of real life procession in Lang Son, visitors blush

 Na Nhem festival with a unique “precious” procession has many meanings to the life of Lang people, attracting a large number of visitors to attend every year.

Na Nhem festival (Tay means “white face”, Tran Yen commune, Bac Son district, Lang Son) takes place on the full moon of January every year. In 2015, this festival was recognized as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage.

However, due to the influence of the Covid-19 epidemic, the festival is considered to be the most meaningful for the people of Lang, which is not held this year.

In previous years, on the full moon of January, not only locals but also many local tourists came here to attend the Na Nham festival. The people also call this festival the procession of giving birth to male vitality with the meaning of praying for peace, praying for a healthy new year crop.

Before the ceremony took place, many sacrifices were carefully prepared, including fairy water pipes from Mo Vang well, celery tree, maize, rice, taro and cotton. Especially indispensable “stubborn” and “moon face” – two eclipses simulating “sensitive parts” of men and women, showing harmony and proliferation.

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The festival is held from dawn to dusk with many rituals of rituals, worshiping the long ngai, and all the gods from Lang Mo’s communal house to Xa Vun shrine. Besides, it also simulates the scene of soldiers training, fighting the enemy, sword fighting of ancient soldiers.
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One of the unique rituals that attracts many visitors to watch at the festival is the “quiet” procession that simulates the “sensitive part” of the male. Previously, the “stubborn” in the festival was just a carved log symbolizing male vitality, but now it is more elaborately created with the constant changes in both shape and size.
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Festival attendees have to smear their faces because, according to the spiritual beliefs of local people, do so to resemble the enemy, distract evil spirits so that they cannot recognize them, capture or act. harm. This custom has similarities with the historical reality when the Mac people were pursued by Trinh lords, had to dress up, change their surname, and flee everywhere.
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When the festival ends, there will be no ghosts who will re-enact their form and failure in front of villagers and bring them to cause disasters and epidemics for them, their families and relatives.
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Leading the procession procession are two chief generals (red shirt) and deputy general (blue shirt). The deputy general walked first, holding a tree branch while walking while doing the movement of the broom to clear the way, followed by the chief.
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The chief minister and deputy minister must combine movements and steps so that they are flexible and rhythmic.
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From the old man to the young man, they are enthusiastic and dedicated to their role in the ceremony. Surrounded by the excited cheers, the eyes of the locals and visitors were followed
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In the procession, there are 4 people procession with dragon thrones, all the cards do not have to be blackened on the other side, they must all have their faces blacked so that everyone cannot recognize them.
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At the end of the day, the sacrifices will be burned entirely, wishing the new year good luck and peace.
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The game of fighting big swords, marks and bow and offering offerings of two army of generals from Ngo and Laos to the King. The image of the two neighboring countries moving forward expresses the desire to build a strong nation that makes neighboring powers take their hats off, bow their heads to tame.

Along with the ritual activities, in the Na Nham Festival there are many special games and games such as: Fighting training games and offering offerings, Games Sy – Nong – Industry and Trade; Nguoi – Tieu – Canh – Muc (cocoon of the bride and groom); swing swing, chess … to meet the needs of enjoyment, cultural exchange of the community.

Thao Trinh/Dân trí

Photo: Nguyen Son Tung