Fire-jumping ceremony of Red Dao group becomes national intangible heritage

The “Nhay lua” (fire jumping) ceremony of the Red Dao ethnic minority people in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang has been listed as a national intangible heritage.



The traditional ritual is held from the second to fifth day of the first lunar month.

For the Red Dao, fire not only represents an image of cosiness and a successful harvest but is also a means of avoiding demons and disease, via a prayer ceremony. The ceremony lasts for several hours, with a number of shamans worshipping the Fire God for luck, happiness, health, and peace. Young Red Dao men dance in a coal pile without fear and come away unscathed. They also kick up the coal pile to startle those watching.

The fire dance is only for men who are strong, skilled, and agile, and each usually dances for a few minutes. The fire dance festival is not only a unique cultural activity but also a wild and mysterious cultural practice in need of research and conservation./.