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Traditional New Year of Ha Nhi ethnic people

Malie Nguyen Malie Nguyen

Dieuhuong270198@gmail.com

February 12, 2021 | 14:48

The Traditional New Year of the Ha Nhi ethnic people in the communes of Chung Chai, Leng Su Sin, Sin Thau, Sen Thuong (Muong Nhe district, Dien Bien province) not only features hearty meals but also peculiar rituals which expresses the offspring’s gratitude to their ancestors as well as the mutually warm sentiment of the ethnic people. Besides, through rituals, Ha Nhi ethnic group wishes a New Year with full of prosperity and happiness.

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Muong Nhe aims to turn the traditional New Year of Ha Nhi people into a community cultural tourist destination.

As usual, in 2020, Ha Nhi ethnic people in the communes of Chung Chai, Leng Su Sin, Sin Thau, Sen Thuong start to celebrate the Traditional New Year on December 15 (November 2 of the lunar calendar). The traditional New Year festival of the Ha Nhi people this year is considered as the big festival of the Muong Nhe district. The festival is organized in Ta Mieu, where has the ancient temple of Ha Nhi people on the border. Legend has it that this temple has existed for a long time and served as a place to worship people who defended borders for decades.

Some people also said that this is the place where Ha Nhi people living in border villages of three countries Vietnam, Laos, and China often gather and pray for good things. Nowadays, Sin Thau people also follow traditional customs. They often come here to worship and pray for prosperity, peace, happiness, and a stable national border. Mr. Po Dan Sinh, a Ta Ko Khu villager shared: “According to the legends, the locals chased the enemy, then assigned the Po family to preserve the frontier. Ha Nhi people at that time were illiterate, so, they built a shrine to worship the generals who sacrificed to protect the border.

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The colorful costumes of the Ha Nhi woman.

Sin Thau has become a famous tourist site in the country’s westernmost. Muong Nhe district has planned to turn this place into a community tourism destination, with the highlights of the New Year of Ha Nhi people and Ta Mieu. The year 2020 was the first time that the Traditional Tet of Ha Nhi people has been held in Ta Mieu village. The model of house - living space of Ha Nhi people was set up. The cultural activities on the Tet holiday were also performed.

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The worshipping ceremony of Ha Nhi people on the Tet holiday is quite simple but imbued with national identity.

The local authority has encouraged the locals to pay more attention to protecting and preserving cultural identity and promoting the image of the land and people of Sin Thau, building this place into a tourist attraction of Muong Nhe district. “Apart from implementing the resolutions of the Party Committees of the province and district and developing the economy to improve the material life, the district has also focused on enhancing the spiritual life for the people”, Mr. Nguyen Quang Hung, Secretary of the Muong Nhe District Party Committee affirmed, adding that the district has deployed a thematic resolution on community tourism development.

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In order to achieve the set target, the Party Committee need join hand with the local authorities in mobilizing resources to build community tourism sites that meet the visitors’ need. It is hoped that in the time ahead, the cultural activities of Ha Nhi people in particular and the ethnic minorities in Muong Nhe district in general will continue to be preserved and promoted properly, thereby contributing to socio-economic development and improving the material and spiritual life of the locals.

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Malie Nguyen