Tu Le young sticky rice flake festival honours traditional culture

Tu Le commune in Van Chan district, in the northern province of Yen Bai, has long been known for its glutinous rice, with a special taste and a unique green colour. The Tu Le young sticky rice flake festival looks to honour this unique type of rice and is a highlight of the Muong Lo culture-tourism festival.

With rice fields totalling over 120 hectares, Tu Le commune is able to harvest more than 100 tonnes annually.

During the eighth lunar month every year, Thai ethnic minority people in Tu Le commune host a new rice celebration festival, to express their gratitude to the ancestors and pray for bumper crops and happiness.

"Joining the festival, local people want to pray for health, safety and good business," said Hoang Van Thach, a shaman from Tu Le Commune, Van Chan District, Yen Bai Province.

Following the new rice celebration ritual is a young sticky rice pounding competition. This year’s event saw the participation of nine villages in Tu Le commune. From the crack of dawn, men and women head out to rice fields to harvest the young rice to make “com.” Dozens of visitors came to the competition to see the skills of participants.

Nguyen Thi Kim Tuyen, a tourist from Hai Phong City, said: "This is a very special festival, and I really like it. I will buy young sticky rice at the local market."

The festival contributes to promoting the traditional cultural values of the Thai ethnic minority group and encourages local farmers to expand areas specialising in growing Tu Le sticky rice.

Numerous cultural and sports activities were also held as part of the festival, attracting both domestic and foreign visitors./.