Tet Festival of the Ede

Following are traditional Tet holiday customs of the Ede ethnic minority in Vietnam. Each Vietnamese ethnic group has its own festivals, customs, beliefs and cultural practice. The Tet festival of the Ede people lasts about half a month, during which time many exciting cultural and community activities take place.

The Ede people are an ethnic minority group in Dac Lac province. Their harvest festival is called the Hua Esei Mrao. This celebration is usually held in October. During this time, the rice fields and milpas turn yellow and every family goes out to their fields to pick rice grains from the stalks. Then, they carry the rice in woven baskets back to the village where it is left out to dry in preparation for the harvest festival.

Each household, depending on their economic conditions, can slaughter a number of buffaloes, oxen, pigs and cocks. Before the ceremony begins, the Ede arrange the offerings for worship which include one or two jars of can wine and some plates of boiled rice in the centre of the house. The jars of can wine are tied firmly to the pole of the house and the plates of rice are placed around them. The host or wizard, squatting in front of these offerings, presses his palms together in prayer.

The new rice festival is organized in every household in the village, one after another. Each ethnic group has a different way to welcome new spring. Traditional rituals, games and dishes of each group are all precious values which should be preserved and developed not only for cultural development but also for future generations.

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