Dung Phong commune in Cao Phong district is boisterous with the sound of gongs and people singing to prepare for the New Crop Festival, which will take place at the beginning of the first lunar month.
The Festival is dedicated to Saint Tan Vien, one of Vietnam’s legendary Four Immortals, to pray for sufficiency, prosperity, and happiness.
This year about 100 artisans will join the festival to play gongs, sing, and dance.
Gong performer Bui Thanh Meo says that at this important ceremony people express their gratitude to genies, review what they have done, meet people to consolidate relationships, and wish others happiness, a bumper crop, and fertility.
“With the support of the authorities, the Muong have collected and preserved our folk songs and literaty works. I’m proud of our tradition. We’ll produce interesting programs for the festival.”
The Cao Phong authorities have worked to raise Muong people’s awareness of the importance of preserving and promoting their tangible and intangible heritages.
Bui Van Huong, Deputy Secretary of Dung Phong commune’s Party Committee, said, “Social development has led to cultural change and traditional customs are being lost. We are happy to see Muong people wearing their traditional costumes at wedding ceremonies. We’ve organized seminars on Muong costumes to revitalize their culture.”
Besides organizing festivals, Cao Phong district is keeping over 3,000 gongs and has opened gong classes for young people.
Bui Yen Minh from the district’s Culture-Sports Office said, “Cao Phong is home to one of four major Muong communities in Hoa Binh. The large number of gongs here shows that people have preserved and treasured their culture. We have prepared a dossier on Muong culture and gongs to submit to UNESCO.”
Cao Phong district has preserved several authentic Muong communities. Sites associated with the district’s history and culture have been upgraded, including Thach Yen-Cao Phong military base, Cu Chinh Lan relic site, and Bo temple in Thung Nai.
Vo Ngoc Kien, Secretary of the Cao Phong district People’s Committee, talked about reviving the Muong Thang festival and teaching folk singing to young people that the district pays special attention to promoting Muong culture. The Muong Thang Spring Festival has been upgraded to honor their core values.