Hau Doong festival of Giay ethnic group

For the Giay ethnic people in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau, the land, forest, and rivers have their own gods. The forest god is the most sacred deity, protecting villagers in their daily life.

The festival features various rituals and festive activities.

The opening and the forest worshiping ceremonies take place under a huge tree inside the forbidden forest of Nam Loong I village.

Local residents and visitors participate in the folk games of the Giay ethnic minority people, such as crossbow shooting, cake pounding and noodle cutting contests, tug-of-war, sack jumping, blindfolded gong beating, and blindfolded duck catching.

The annual Hau Doong festival aims to boost community cohesion and environmental protection, especially forest preservation, to foster ecological sustainability.

The Giay ethnic people in Lai Chau province are found in each of the province’s eight districts and city and total about 14,000 in number, accounting for 3.09 percent of the provincial population. In Lai Chau city, the Giay people mostly live in Quyet Thang and San Thang communes./.