Then practice in early spring: Sweet kick-off for New Year

The art of Then, with its catchy melodies and sacred spiritual rituals, has become an indispensible part of the Tay and Nung ethnic people’s lives.


As spring arrives, Tay and Nung ethnic people in Thai Nguyen province often gather to sing catchy Then melodies. The songs carry their wishes for a prosperous and peaceful year ahead.

Spiritual rituals are among the special ingredients that make Then practice stand out from other traditional folk singing, and it is recognised as an intangible cultural heritage of Vietnam. The recognition has greatly facilitated the preservation and promotion of Then.

Then lyrics evolve around familiar topics, such as morality and wishes for fulfillment. With such meaningful lyrics, singing Then in the early days of spring is like a sweet kickoff to a new year of luck, peace and prosperity./.