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Dao ethnics’ mysterious fire dance

Last update: 11:40 | 12/10/2017

Hoang Su Phi district, Ha Giang Province, which is home to various ethnic minority groups, boasts impressive tourist attractions and rich cultural values, notably the Dao ethnic community’s fire dancing festival.



The fire dancing festival is not only a religious ritual, but is a life lesson Dao ethnic people teach on bravery and chivalry.

The festival is held in the first lunar month each year, gathering Dao people within the district at all ages.

According to Trieu Van Chien, a Dao Ethnic man in Dao ethnic people, offerings in the ritual include a drum, a chicken, one bowl of rice, six glasses of rice liquor and a piece of greaseproof paper made from straws or bamboo. To prepare for the dance, local young peopleput firewood into a vast neat pile.

When all preparations are complete, a shaman starts praying to the God of Fire for prosperity, peace, health, happiness and good weather. His words echo while the bulk of the firewood is burned. Then, the shaman tosses coins to ask for the god’s permission to fire dance.

Young men who have been waiting since the beginning now come to the shaman for blessings. The shaman drums the beat as the young men keep dancing on the burning hot coals. What makes the dance special is that despite their bare feet, they feel no fear any fear and do not get burned.

Phan Dao Choi​, a Dao Ethnic man ​in Ha Giang Province said: "We don’t get burned or feel scared when dancing. Fire dancing chases away bad luck and brings us good fortune."

Le Ngoc, a Hanoian visitor shared her excitement when first participating in the event: "This is my first time to participate in a fire dancing festival. At first I was quite scared but then I found it very interesting as dancers come to no harm. Moreover, it helps me understand more about the Dao people’s culture."

Fire dancing festival is a distinctive activity of Dao ethnic people, drawing more and more visitors to Hoang Su Phi district.

VNA

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