THE VILLAGE OF TAY ETHNIC GROUP CEREBRATING LUNAR NEW YEAR

Wednesday - 10/04/2019 09:31
Tay is the one of the most populous ethnic group living in Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp. Their main settelement area is near the rivers like Bang, Ky Cung, Cau, Gam and Chay, etc of Cao Bang, Lang Son, Bac Kan, Thai Nguyen, Tuyen Quang, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, and Yen Bai). They live in a big community or village with at least 6-9 household. This is the reason why other ethnic groups are influenced by tradition, practices and even language of Tay ethnic group when they join Tay community. In contrast, because of the cultural exchange with other ethnic groups, Tay ethnic groups are also impacted, backward practices were removed and traditional values are preserved and updated with new and proper practice of the mordern society, including the Lunar new year, which is also the main festival of in a year of Tay people.
THE VILLAGE OF TAY ETHNIC GROUP CEREBRATING LUNAR NEW YEAR

Tay ethnic group prepare very carefully for the Lunar new year. Before the first day of the Lunar new year, the Village of Tay ethnic group is busy preparing for the festival such as : Ginger cake (pẻng khinh), green bean cake (pẻng dỏ thúa), sticky rice flour bar cake (sa cao), cooked sticky rice flour (chà lam), fried sticky rice mixed with sugar (khẩu si), etc and pop-rice mixed with sugar ‘Thuc Thec’, in which Khẩu si ís the hardest one to make because of different steps.  

The village is busy with the sounds of sticky rice grinding to make Banh Day. Rice noodle is one of the main food for the Lunnar new year, first people will soak rice in water, then grind the soaked rice to get the water flour and pour this water floor into a bag to seperate the flour and water. Normally, three or four household would share one pig of about 100kg, and pork would be prepared before the Lunnar new year. The insence and fake paper money are bought and prepared before the New year. Chung cakes are wrapped carefully in pattern, the green color of the cooked Chung cake is decided by the front side of the wrapping leaf ; there are two types of the inside of the Chung cake, one is sweet and the other is salty. Particularly, each household perpare a pair of big Chung cake considered as the Parents cake with the best inside (normally fat pork, green bean, sweet potato, cane juice sugar, moutain ginger, etc)

 In the afternoon, people would gather their cattles back home. On the last day of the old year, people would cook Chung cake for the whole day until night time (about more than 10 hours) ; family members take turn to take care of the Chung cake, and each member would have a shower with Pachira aquatica leaf, it is believed that this kind of leaf would help people have smooth skin and stay away from skin diseases.

From 12 p.m to 1.00 a.m people would wake up to welcome the new year’s eve.

People would light the incense and put them on the altar which was cleaned before, the good smell from smoke of the incense would pervade through the house ; cakes and gifted are presented on the altar to their ancestor. The house owner would then pray for the protection and support from their ancestor for a new year with good luck and fortune. The incense is pitched at the gate of the house to guide and welcome the soul of their ancestors backhome; it is also pitched at the kitchen, cattles cages, etc. Their oldest child would bring a bunch of incense and a pair of bustket to the water well to pitch incense there and bring back home the lucky water. The village will be loudly wishing the best luck for the new year, especially at the water well or crystar running streams. School students would then sit at desk to read book so that they would get more intelligent, etc. For this day, the above mentioned preparation procedures have been shortened so that people can gather together and watch TV, etc.

 On the first day of the new year, the Tay ethnic group would stay at home and enjoy the festival with each other. People would prepare the meal together like rice noodles, cake, chicken, ducks, etc.

 Previously, Tay people paid serious concerns for the first foot on the first day of the new year. Though gender bias is not a problem in nowaday society, people are still not really happy with the women first foot. People used to choose the first step by considering the match of the year of the house owner and the first foot.

It would be perfect if their friends who live  far away from their house comes to visit them for the first foot, but again they need to know the lunnar year of the house owner. Moreover, the Tay ethnic group tend to stay at home on the first day of the year but not visiting other friends’ house. Because they are afraid that they would pour their good luck to other house (vải dài). Once visit their relative on the first day of the new year people need to pay attention to the frest branch of tree, for some reasons if the house onwer might not want to welcome the guest at that time they would hang a branch of tree at the door (bâư phật).

On the first day of the New year, the household need to take care of departuring to pray for good luck and fortune, and deepending on their age, people would choose a suitable time and direction for departure.

A new trend of Tay ethnic group is that people gather and meet each other at the cultured house on the first day of the lunar new year (at about 9 a.m) to sing the national anthem under the flag and listen to the new year letter from the President, and the schedule of new year activities of the village and contribute to the awards of games.

On the second day the family would visit the wife’s parents. The wife and her husband, children would bring their presents to show their gratitues to the wife’s parents. The wife’s parents would give lucky money to children in red envelops.

The joint year games of the village would start from the early morning of the third day. 

                                                     

Source:   HOÀNG TRIỀU ÂN

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