Gau Tao or GrâuK Taox is a traditional festival of the Mong ethnic group in the Northwest highlands such as Lao Cai, Dien Bien, Ha Giang … every New Year’s Eve to spring. Gau Tao Festival is usually held from the 1st to the 15th of January every year and is one of the typical festivals of the Mong people that has been preserved and passed down through generations.
The origin of this special festival comes from an ancient custom, three families related by blood or family with few children, unable to bear children, or doing unlucky business will cooperate with each other. office.
The organizers often choose the flat land at the top of the village and then set up stands to organize traditional activities such as singing, pushing sticks, and spinning.
Gau Tao hill turns to the east so that the tree can catch the sun.
Beautiful girls dancing at the Gau Tao festival
The main content of the festival is usually praying for blessings or luck.
The association often prays for a family to have no children or I will ask a fortune teller to open a festival to have children.
Similarly, if a family prays for fortune because a certain householder is sick, his children are weak, his crops or livestock are fading, he will also ask a fortune teller to ask for a festival.
The preparation for Gau Tao festival was prepared from the end of December, when the fortune-teller asked to open the festival.
Families invite him to perform the ceremony very meticulously and solemnly.
After completing the preparations, the festival will officially begin. The shaman will tie two pieces of linen on the tree: a black piece to represent the gathering of forces, and a red piece to symbolize the invitation to ancestors to attend the festival.
There is also a wine gourd, three rice flowers representing fortune, a few ferns symbolizing the birth of sticky rice.
The tree worshiping ceremony is held in the morning with offerings including rice, chicken, and wine.
The celebrant burns incense, burns gold coins and walks counter-clockwise around the tree, singing the promise of the day of worship to the gods about the family’s thanksgiving ceremony as promised in the previous year.
After the ceremony, everyone will enjoy the fortune together under the tree.
The Gau Tao festival attractive alot of local people in Sa Pa
After the ceremony is over, the ceremony will move on. Everyone will gather together at the festival grounds.
Tents made of leaves were erected all over the yard for the elderly to eat and drink and congratulate.
The flattest area is reserved for children to play. Other places are reserved for pre-determined carnival games.
In addition, each place has a general manager, the manager takes care of the food and drink, etc.
At the end of the festival, the shaman will perform the ceremony to lower the tree, the witch will burn the paper cards, collect the coals and put them in the water, while walking and praying.
After each prayer, he drank a mouthful of water sprayed around.
A piece of red cloth is brought back to hang in the house to pray for eternal blessings. According to the concept of the Mong people, the more carefully the tree is stored, the more fortune, the family is happy, the children do not get sick, the rain is favorable and the wind is favorable, and the harvest is abundant.
Gau Tao festival (GrâuK Taox) is associated with the concept of human life of the Mong ethnic group in the northwest region such as the wish to be healthy, to proliferate, with favorable rain and wind, and a bountiful harvest.
This is one of the festivals and cultural beauty of the Mong people, who have been preserving their identity and promoting human values in the spiritual life of the Mong here.