Long Tong festival, also known as Xuong Dong festival, is a typical event in Tay tradition. This is the biggest rainmaking ritual of the year of Tay people in Sapa.
Tay cultural features inA�Long Tong festival
Long Tong festivalA�is considered a religious event reflecting the desire of good weather and crops. It usually takes place in the biggest area with highst quality on the field.
A lot of research has bene done on this but therea��s no evidence showing when this festival first appeared exactly. However, it could be assured that Long Tong festival was born with the establishment of the first Tay villages.
Apart from Long Tong festival of the Tay, there are also many similar rainmaking rituals among ethnic groups in Sapa such as Ha��Monga��s Nao Song festival, Giaya��s Roong Pooc festival, Daoa��s Put Tong festival, etc. However, Long Tong festival is still the most remarkable one in Sapa.
Holding Long Tong festival
Based on cultural and living conditions, the official days for holding Long Tong festival can vary from area to area. Normally, all families clean their houses and living area as well as prepare food for the guests on the day before the festival.
On the official day, each family prepare a meal, including some common dishes including chung cakes, giay cakes,A� che lam (glutinous rice cake) and puffed rice cake, etc.
Other than that, there are also a multicolored flower-shaped cake and 2 colorful fabric a�?cona�? balls, which are used by the sorcerers to pray for good weather and crops.
Activities in Long Tong festival
Like many other festivals in Sapa, a�?cona�� throwing is one of the most essential activities in Long Tong festivals. In this activity, there is a 20-to-30-meter pole right in the middle of the main yard with a 50-cm-diameter circle on top. This circle has two sides, Nhat and Nguyet, which represent the Sun and the Moon respectively. Players are supposed to throw the a�?cona�� inside the circle and go through the paper, which requires both strength and skillfulness.
Normally there should be at least one person throw the a�?cona�� through the circle since it means, according to the locala��s belief, a prosperous year is coming. Otherwise, they will be very disappointed.
Therea��s also another way to play a�?cona�� throwing, in which 2 teams of boys or girls will throw a�?cona�� to each other. This is considered a more favorite way to play a�?cona�� throwing for ita��s a good way for young adults to express the love to their crushes.
In addition, there are many other games in the festival including lion dance, stilt walking, bamboo swings and martial arts, etc. All these activities are not only supposed to praise the sportsmanship of Tay people but also a good opportunity for young people to make friends. This is the day when men try to show off their strength and bravery to attract the women.