Roong Pooc festival is the biggest annual festival of the Giay people in Ta Van commune. The festival is held on the first Dragon’s day of the lunar month every year. This year the official date is January 13 (February 3rd of the lunar calendar).
Every year at the beginning of spring, the Giay people in Ta Van, Sapa eagerly welcome the Roong Pooc festival.
This is considered one of the most unique folk festivals in the cultural heritage of the Giay people. This traditional beauty attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists.
The festival reflects people’s wishes for a peaceful and prosperous life. The whole process of rituals and games are always associated with fertility beliefs, praying for all things to flourish.
Besides, the ceremony of praying for rain is also shown quite boldly in the “Roong Pooc” festival, such as sticking yellow dragon-shaped paper on the moon and moon ring, meaning to ensure favorable rain and wind, and a bountiful harvest.
Photo: Roong Pooc – Ta Van Festival
Roong Pooc festival belongs to one of the types of agricultural festivals. It reflects a part of the history of agricultural production in wet rice cultivation of the Giay through beliefs: fertility, polytheism, sun worship, etc.
The festival was formed and developed from the working and production life of the Giay. The Giay have lived in Ta Van for hundreds of years, so it has a profound historical and humanistic character.
Photo: Offerings in the festival include paper money, fruits, eggs,…
The festival begins with a solemn ceremony. At this time, all the people in the village gathered seriously to pray to the gods for peace in the family religion, the livestock and poultry were proliferating and the trees were lush.
When offering sacrifices on Roong Pooc festival, the shaman lights 3 incense sticks, bows 3 times, plugs them into the sticks, and begins to read the sacrifice.
After that, the shaman will sow a hexagram to ask for yin and yang, pray for a prosperous, happy and peaceful life, protect the peaceful village, good crops, cattle, pigs and chickens full of cages, fish full of rivers and streams, people no disease, sickness…
Next, the shaman will burn the votive paper. All the fruits left in that day are brought before the altar by the shaman. The process of offering the ceremony is now completed.
After the serious ceremony is over, the beginning will be a drum orchestra, gongs and Pi Le tunes playing to announce the ceremonial games of Sapa Roong Pooc festival will begin.
The festival has 2 main games that are very fun, namely throwing and tug of war.
In addition, there are many other interesting folk games such as blindfold catching goats and plowing competitions.
Photo: Funny activities are also an indispensable part and create a joyful atmosphere imbued with cultural identity of the festival.
Funny activities such as folk songs, dances, tug of war, … are also an indispensable part and create a joyful atmosphere imbued with the cultural identity of the festival.
After the games are over, the village elders will stand to make vows, 2 healthy young men and 2 buffaloes will go down to the field to pull 5 plow lines, symbolizing the beginning of a new crop.
With the above typical historical, cultural and scientific values, the Roong Pooc Festival of the Giay (Ta Van commune, Sa Pa district, Lao Cai province) has been included in the List of Cultural Heritages national intangible since 2023.