Forest offering ceremony recognized as national heritage

Published:  08:56 Tuesday - January 22, 2013

Forest offering ceremony recognized as national heritage

A ceremony performed by Vietnam’s smallest ethnic minority group has been recognized as one of 33 new intangible cultural heritage aspects of the country.<br><br>Read more:

The Forest Offerings Ceremony has been preserved by the Pu Peo ethnic minority group, with some 705 members scattered across the northernmost province of Ha Giang, according to an announcement of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The ancestors of the Pu Peo swore in the temple in front of any chosen sacred forest that would teach their children to preserve it.

For the Pu Peo, worshiping the forest is worshiping their ancestors.

A chosen sacred forest plays an important role in their daily lives as well as their spiritual lives, and the Pu Peo must abide by strict rules, including no tree cutting for firewood, or deforestation for cultivation. They must also keep the forests clean by not throwing garbage in them.

Every year, on June 6th of the lunar year, the Pu Peo hold the ceremony, as they think this is the cleanest day of the year, keeping the heavens and the earth sacred.

The ceremony and the follow-up festival is held at Chung Trai Village, Pho La Commune, Dong Van District in Ha Giang Province.

The sacred forest of the Pu Peo is always carefully preserved. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

Sacrificial gifts are offered to the forest. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

A rooster and hen, symbolizing reproduction, is directly offered to the god of the forest by the
shaman (left). Photo: Tuoi Tre.

A goat, after being gifted to god of the forest, will be brought to the slaughter.
 Photo: Tuoi Tre.

Dressing to worship the god of the forest. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

Children eating a local food made of corn, like tortillas, at a festival. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Dancing in bags – a sport usually played at the Pu Peo festival on the
Dong Van Plateau. Photo: Tuoi Tre.

Two local men join another sport game which is usually played at the
Pu Peo’s festival. Photo: Tuoi Tre.


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