06:00 | 31/10/2021 Culture & Tourism
(VEN) - The Pang A or luck prayer festival of the La Ha ethnic group in the northern mountainous province of Son La takes place annually in the spring according to the lunar calendar, when bamboo shoots begin to sprout from the earth and bauhinia blossoms open up on hillsides.
La Ha people in Na Tay Village, Pi Tong Commune of Muong La District organize the Pang A festival to pray for good harvests, health, and luck, and thank the genies and shamans for protecting and curing the villagers. They believe that shamans are mediators between spirits and people on earth.
Local authorities and people of other villages are invited to the festival. The host prepares two pigs for the ritual. Adopted children of the shaman bring chicken, ducks, rice wine, glutinous rice, and fruit to the festival. The ritual is held in the main hall of the shaman’s house. In the center of the room, they erect a bamboo tree, a banana tree, and a sugar cane, from which they hang bamboo-woven items such as birds, animals, and flowers.
The shaman reads the prayer to invite ancestors and genies of land, forest, and river to attend the ritual, witness the sincerity, and bless the people with peace, prosperity, and bumper crops.
When the shaman finishes praying, his adopted children present their offerings on the table for the spirits, and eventually the offerings are shared among the ceremony participants.
After the ritual, villagers celebrate by feasting, dancing, and singing. The festival is also a chance for young people to make friends and find romance.
The Pang A Festival is an age-old tradition. It is preserved and passed down from generation to generation, and plays an important role in the spiritual life of the La Ha people.