CULTURAL AND FESTIVAL TOURISM HAT THEN, DAN TINH
"Hat then" is a unique folk and traditional art of Tay, Nung, Thai ethnics of the northern mountainous provinces. Then is maintained and developed into a massive cultural space in volume, richness in genres, variety in performance forms with the development of the people nations in the past and at present, thus marking the civilisation of mankind.
"Hat then" has become indispensable spiritual food in the cultural life of the people in Bac Kan. According to the folk conception, "Then" means "Thien", "Thien" means "God", so "Then" is considered as magical melodies. Therefore, in the life of old Tay people, Then was used in the important ceremonies such as prayers for peace, prayers for the harvest etc. Through Then melodies, the prayers of the people are transferred to God.
In each region, Then melodies have their own characteristics: Then fire is encouraging soldiers to go to the battle, Then Bac Kan is whispering to tell a story, etc.
"Dan tinh" is a unique folk instrument of Tay people with a smooth and warm sound that has magic attractiveness because it is associated with culture, spiritual life and the Tay people from many years ago. The instrument box is made from dry gourd shell, the instrument surface is made from coral tree, and its handle is made from mulberry tree.
Bac Kan is one of the provinces that "hat then" and "dan tinh" arts are conserved and developed. Then heritage is making documents to submit to UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of mankind.
BA BE SPRING FESTIVAL
Ba Be Spring Festival is held on January 10th of the lunar year, in Bo Lu village, Nana Mau commune, Ba Be Suburban District.
Ba Be Spring Festival is a festival at the beginning of the year of the ethnic people in Ba Be Lake region, including two parts, a ceremony and a festival. The ceremony part prays for favourable rain and wind, peace for mankind, a good harvest and prosperous and happy life. The festival part includes popular arts programs like "hat then, dan tinh khen dancing, etc. Popular festival games include throwing pushing rod, catching duck on the lake, dugout canoe racing, bull fighting, etc.
BANG VAN LONG TONG FESTIVAL, NGAN SON SUBURBAN DISTRICT
Annually Ba Be Spring Festival attracts tens of thousands local and foreign visitors to participate.
Bang Van Long Tong festival is held at Bang Van commune on January 15th of the lunar year, and comprises 2 parts, ceremony and festival.
The ceremony part prays for good weather, peace, wealth, a good harvest, and a prosperous and happy life The festival part has popular games such as: tug of war, throwing "coin", pushing rod, balance games, etc.
Bang Van long tong festival is a local festival that attracts a lot of local people and tourist to participate.
LONG TONG FESTIVAL, LAM SON COMMUNE, NARY SUBURBAN DISTRICT
According to Tay and Nung languages, Long Tong means to go to the field. This is a cultural and faith activity held on the occasion of New Year to offer sacrifices to Emperor Shennong, a genie who manages the fields, wishing for a good harvest, a comfortable life, a successful village, health and happiness for all the people in the village.
THACH LONG PAGODA, CHO MOI SUBURBAN DISTRICT
Long Tong Festival of Lam Son commune is held on January 7 of the lunar year.
Thach Long Pagoda (as known as Cao Ky Pagoda, Hang Pagoda), is in Cao Ky commune, Cho Moi Suburban District, far from Highway 3 about 400 m, far from Bac Kan City of 19 km to the south.
The Pagoda is located in the rock cave, including two levels: Upper Pagoda and Mother Pagoda. Legend has it that Thach Long Pagoda was built from Ly Dynasty.
On March 23rd, 1951, President Ho Chi Minh Visited Air Force Station of our army and rested at Thach Long Pagoda.
Thach Long is a religious place of local people and Visitors from everywhere.
Pagoda Festival is held from lunar January 6th to 8th. It is open to welcome visitors all year.
MOTHER TEMPLE, BAC KAN CITY
Mother Temple is locate in the pine hill, group 1, Phung Chi Kien Ward, Bac Kan city. The Temple was built in 1831, and renovated in 1990. The Temple worships Mother and other Spirits.
The Temple is a religious place for both local people and visitors from everywhere. The Temple opens to visitors all year. Between October 1st and 15th of the lunar month people go there to celebrate in crowds.
Big festival days at Mother Temple:
- Thuong Nguyen Festival: lunar January 15th
- Khanh Ha Festival: lunar March 10th
- Tan Ha Festival: lunar July 15th
- New Year‘s Eve: lunar December 1st
AUNT TEMPLE, BAC KAN CITY
Aunt Temple is in group 2, Phung Chi Kien Ward, Bac Kan city. The Temple was built in the early 2000s, rebuilt in 2010, the Temple worships Ban Den Aunt and Spirits
Aunt Temple is a religious life place of local people and visitors from everywhere. The Temple opens to visitors all year.
Big festival days at Aunt Temple:
- Thuong Nguyen Festival: lunar February 1st
- Khanh Ha Festival: lunar March 15th
- Tan Ha Festival: lunar July 1st
- New Year’s Eve: lunar December 15th
OLD TOWN PAGODA, BA BE SUBERBAN DISTRICT
Old Town Pagoda is located on a small hill of subzone 8, Cho Ra town, Ba Be Suburban District, 16km north of Ba Be Lake.
AN MA TEMPLE, BA BE NATIONAL PARK
Old Town Pagoda is an historic and cultural monument to worship Genie, Buddha, and Kitchen God. The Pagoda is a religious place of local people and pilgrims from everywhere.
The Pagoda was built in Thanh Thai dynasty in 1906. In 2011, the Pagoda was rebuilt on the grounds of the old pagoda.
An Ma Temple is located on An Ma island in the centre of Ba Be Lake. It was an old temple rebuilt in 2006. The Temple worships Buddha, Upland Mother, Moutain princess, Tran Holy, etc.
Legend has it that the Temple was where the loyal subjects of Mac dynasty in the Le-Mac feudal war, after being defeated, ran to Puong Cavern to commit suicide there. To commemorate the loyal subjects, people here have built a temple to worship Mac family, but being afraid of being revenged by the Le family's military, they renamed it Ma family's temple. An Ma in the Tay language means “peaceful and beautiful graves”, that was the resting place of Mac's loyal subjects.
An Ma temple is a religious life place of local people and pilgrims from everywhere and where offerings are made at the Spring Festival held on January 10.
XUAN DUONG LOVE MARKET, NA RY SUBURBAN DISTRICT
Xuan Duong Love Market meets once a year on lunar March 25th in Xuan Duong commune, Na Ry Suburban District (30km from Yen Lac, 45km from Bac Kan city).
Not as famous as Khau Vai Love market in Ha Giang or Sapa love market in Lao Cai, Xuan Duong love market has specific cultural traditions of ethnics Tay, Nung of Na Ry Suburban District and Cho Moi Suburban District (Bac Kan) and neighboring Suburban Districts of Lang Son and Thai Nguyen provinces.
Xuan Duong Love Market originates in the moving story of a young Tay couple that loved each other very much in Pac Sen hamlet, Xuan Duong commune, Na Ry Suburban District. They got married from sli and luon songs in the long tong festivals held locally. One day, in preparation for the upcoming crop, the couple worked together, the husband hoed ground at the top of the rice-field, and the wife weeded at the bottom of the rice-field. By noon, when the sun is at its zenith, the husband was tired, and he called his wife for a break, but only heard the echoes of a fight and abduction. Running to the bottom of the rice-field, the husband only saw a broken knife handle and crushed grass there that were evidence of a struggle. Then, he knew that his wife has been abducted by a bad crowd. She had fought back fiercely, asking for help in vain, but he did not hear her scream to rescue her because the distance between them was so far.
Knowing the story, people in the village showed their mercy for young couple. Since then, that field was called Na Ry (long field) to remember that touching story of the gentle young couple (Na Ry was also named to Suburban District, through many generations, people in the suburban district misspell to Na Ri Suburban District Na Ri as today). Later, seeing her ex-husband in a fair, she had mixed feelings but they just knew to cry but could not heal the past love because they had each new families. People in the village were touched by that sentiment, so they let the couple have a day to remember the old story (lunar March 25th). Since then, the annual lunar March 25“ has become a festival of couples in the region where people who could not get married before, could
The Upland Fair is a unique cultural and important activity in the mountain people's life in Bac Kan. The fair is not only a place to exchange, purchase and sell goods but also a place to meet, chitchat and have cultural exchanges of the people here. The fair meets 5 days a session to the lunar day and takes part alternately in the centre of the suburban district, commune or between villages. The goods sold in the market are very diverse and plentiful and are mostly products from mountain or forest or produced by the people here.
Coming to the fair, tourists will be comfortable people watching and buying the mountain products, enjoying a cup of fragrant corn wine and bustling in the crowded and busy atmosphere of the hill tribes. The fair is not only attractive to domestic tourists but also to foreign tourists.