|The shaman performs a ritual near the Neu pole to pray for favorable weather, good crops, and a peaceful village. (Photo: baohoabinh.com.vn)
The festival included a ritual of erecting Neu pole, a sacred symbol of repelling bad luck and bringing good luck to the new year. After the ritual locals and visitors joined a bamboo flute dance and a Khen panpipe performance, threw cloth balls, enjoyed local cuisine and watched ethic sport competitions such as shooting with a crossbow, pushing sticks, and pounding glutinous rice to make cakes.
The Mong live mostly in Vietnam’s northern mountains. In the spring, they gather to celebrate the Gau Tao Festival to pray to genies for favorable weather, fertility, peace, and prosperity.