Themed ‘Market of Love Songs’, the festival is set to take place from April 25 to 27 (the 25th to 27th day of the third lunar month) in Khau Vai Commune, Meo Vac District.

The event seeks to promote tourism along with the traditional cultural values of ethnic groups in Ha Giang Province, thus facilitating the province’s recovery efforts after COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival will officially open on the evening of April 26, during which the local authorities will receive a certificate recognising the social customs and beliefs of the Phong Luu Khau Vai Market as a national intangible cultural heritage.

The three-day event will feature a beauty pageant, incense offering at the Ong and Ba temples, and a peace praying ceremony.

Traditional cultural and arts of ethnic groups in Ha Giang Province will also be highlighted during the festival, through panpipe performances of H’mong people, folklore songs of Nung and Giay ethnic groups, and folk dances of Lo Lo and Giay ethnic communities.

Festivalgoers can take part in tours to the buckwheat flower valley in Lung Pu Commune and the Village for H’mong Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Pa Vi Ha Village, Pa Vi Commune, or join a boat tour along Nho Que 1 Lake.

Phong Luu Khau Vai Market is held only once a year, on the 27th day of the third lunar month. Believed to date back to more than 100 years, the event is now a popular attraction for visitors and photographers in Ha Giang Province.

What makes this market stand out from the others is that it is not a trading place for agricultural products or specialties as usual, but instead acts as a meeting venue for couples who were in love but broke up in the end.

On the day, local ethnic women and men dress in their most beautiful traditional costumes and go to the market where they are free to meet their exes in public; their husbands and wives do not get angry or jealous because the meeting at the market is meant to be a temporary moment that does not affect their daily lives or relationship.