Ritual to pray for good luck of the Tay, Nung

Nong Diep-Thu Hang
Chia sẻ
(VOVWORLD) - At the beginning of the Lunar New year, the Tay and Nung people organize a ritual to pray for happiness and prosperity and against bad luck. The religious rite has been observed for generations.
Ritual to pray for good luck of the Tay, Nung - ảnh 1Offering for the rite to pray for happiness and prosperity of the Tay and Nung (photo: VOV)

Whenever a family wants to organize a ritual against bad luck, they ask a Then shaman to choose a good day soon after the Lunar New Year holiday. The shaman tells them to prepare some offerings, depending on their circumstances. An offering that every family must prepare is a tray with 3 to 5 bowls of rice, an egg, incense sticks, votive papers, and flowers. They can optionally add a pig’s head, some pork, a cooked chicken, some fruit, and confectionaries. The offering should really also include a hen, a duck, a banana tree, and a big tray of flowers and plants.

Dam Thi Sinh,  a Nung woman in Cao Bang province said: “In the first lunar month, my family invites a Then shaman to conduct a ritual to pray for good health, good fortune, and a bumper crop, and worship the Flower Mother, who takes care of children. Many families organize such a ceremony to pray for happiness and peace.”

Ritual to pray for good luck of the Tay, Nung - ảnh 2A shaman conducts the ritual against bad luck. (photo: VOV)

The Then shamans are believed to be able to foretell the future and make contact with the world of gods and spirits. The Then shaman is accompanied by a Pựt shaman, who carries a fan and a bunch of musical shakers, and a Tào shaman with a musical bell. The Then shaman sings Then songs accompanied by a Tinh lute, musical shakers and the bell, creating a ritual space between heaven and earth.

During the ritual against bad luck, the shaman casts wooden sticks to foretell the future. Nong Van Tuyen, a shaman in Cao Bang said: “A ritual depends on the shaman’s style and the family’s wishes. Commonly, the head of the family burns incense and offers liquor to the deities. Then the shaman reads a prayer, casts coins, and performs a ritual to chase away evil spirits and pray for good luck.”

Vi Hong Nhan, a researcher of Tay-Nung culture in Lang Son province, says: “The Tay and Nung people organize a Then ritual at the beginning of the year to pray for happiness for their families and all other people. Relatives and neighbors gather at the ceremony to strengthen relationships. They also pray for sick people to be blessed and get well soon.”

The Tay and Nung in Vietnam’s northern mountain provinces still conduct the ritual against bad luck in its original form, aware of the importance of preserving their unique culture.