It is a custom of the Dao Tien ethnic group in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang that married men will be recognised as mature by the community following the “Cap Sac” ceremony, whereby he will be given a new name.

The tradition is different from “Cap Sac” ceremony practised by other sub-groups of the Dao ethnic group, which is conducted for boys, thus recognising they are mature enough to get married.

During the three-day ceremony of the Dao Tien, offerings like two pigs weighing over 80kg, 5-10 chickens, dried squirrel meat, incense, paper, two mats, silver coins, rice wine, vegetarian dishes and deity paintings will be needed.

During the two months before and after the ceremony, the man and his wife must live separate. They must neither use bad words and nor let others touch them.

Prior to the ceremony, the man must take a bath and wear new clothes.

Local guests are requested to eat oil-free vegetarian dishes and shun animal killings.

Throughout 10 rites, the man will receive a hat, then represent himself to gods and ancestors after undergoing a ritual of lighting lamps to remove bad luck, during which shamans will light the lamps made from bamboo and put one on the man’s head and two others on his shoulders to light the path for moral standards of the locals to enter his soul.

After that the man will be given a new name by the deities through the shaman. The naming ritual will allow him to stand in the rank of important members in their family clans.
With this new name to talk with gods and ancestors, he can worship the clan’s ancestors and take responsibility for the common tasks of the community.

It is concluded by the sharing of pork meat with all guests in attendance.

The local community believes that the rituals will give the men good luck and prosperity.-VNA