Ha Giang – a province located in the Northwest region in Vietnam – has so many things to explore. The nature in here is really fantastic with the majestic rock plateau, high mountains, picturesque valleys and immense terrace fields. Also, Ha Giang has a lot of cultural values including Khau Vai Love Market which is a must in your Vietnam cultural tour.
Khau Vai Love Market in Ha Giang
Khau Vai is a commune situated in Meo Vac district, the northernmost province of Ha Giang. It is home to three ethnic minority groups including Giay, Nung, and Muong. Khau Vai Love Market festival is annually held on the 26th and 27th day of the third month in the lunar calendar with the participation of a large number of locals and tourists. It is a special market that people do not come to sell things or buy goods but to find their ex-lovers whom they were in love but could not get married. This is considered as the most unique “affair” event in Vietnam that you should explore in your cultural tour in Northern Vietnam.
Khau Vai Love Market was first held since a very long time ago. It is a demonstration of the value of cultural identities of ethnic minority people in Northern Vietnam. Local people here really respect the power of love. In the market area, there are two temples called Ong and Ba (Mr. and Mrs.).
It’s okay to see your ex in Khau Vai Love Market
Khau Vai Love Market Festival is originated from a sad love story which is told from generation to generation by the local: A couple from different tribes deeply fell in love with each other; however, their marriage was forbidden by the girl’s tribe because her tribe did not want her to get married with any boy from other tribes. And there came a conflict between the two tribes and caused blood shedding for both of them. To stop the nonsense and fierce battles, the couple decided to fall apart with broken hearts. Still, they promised to see each other once a year on lunar March 26th in Khau Vai. Since then, on every lunar March 26th, Khau Vai Love Market Festival is held as an occasion for couples who used to love but could not get married to come and meet each other again. Time passed by; still, the festival remains and became one of the one-of-a-kind cultural festival in Ha Giang.
Coming to Khau Vai Love Market, you can experience a lot of interesting things. You can see a lot of spouses coming to the market together, but then separate to find their own ex. And on this day, no one gets jealous because their husband or wife see their ex-lovers because local people here consider this market as an occasion that they show respect to their partner. They meet their ex, share their memories and update the others on their current life. And when the market close, they back to their normal life with their own family. Also, you can see a lot of young people coming here to find their date or friend.
You can experience plenty of customs and folk games of ethnic people such as nem con, du quay, horse riding, khen dancing, and music performances. There are a lot of handicraft products and local goods of the Nung, Tay and Giay that you can find here such as clothes, silk, etc.
Young ethnic people in their traditional costumes
Moreover, like other festivals that you visit in your Vietnam tour, Khau Vai Love Market has a unique ceremony taken place in Ong and Ba temple. The first day is for the villagers’ ceremony of receiving the great calendar to forecast of rainfall and foresee the crop of that year. This official ceremony is carried out inside the sanctuary where all participants pray for a good yield. Then, young people can walk out the pagoda yard and join in fun activities. The second day is devoted for the ceremony of boiling rice and heaping up a sandy mountain for a year of happiness and luck. The last ceremony is to wash the Buddha’s statue and Buddhist monks.
Spring is one of the best time to travel Ha Giang. Besides beautiful and imposing natural landscapes and the stunning sceneries of peach blossoms, you can have the chance to explore a lot of spring festivals of ethnic minority groups of people. Your Vietnam cultural tour will be more interesting when you land your foot in Ha Giang.
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