Spring Festival is one of the biggest and most important events of Tay’s ethnic minority group in Bac Kan. The festival is organized annually in the 9 -11th day of the year (according to Lunar Calendar) in more than 500 villages of the province. Even though the festival is widely known as Long Tong, people name it differently in different places, such as Long Tong Ba Be or Le Xuong Dong etc…
Following Tet holiday, Ba Be locals celebrate The Long Tong Festival every spring. This is the traditional spring festival of both the Tay ethnic group in Ba Be as well as the Tay community in general. After having to halt the festival for 3 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ba Be government decided to hold it again in the spring of 2023.
The Long Tong Festival is held every year for people to express their appreciation to the gods who have protected them in the previous year, and to pray for a prosperous new year with bountiful harvests and peaceful lives.
Worshiping the gods in The Long Tong Festival
The Long Tong Festival in Ba Be follows the same procedures as the Long Tong Festivals in other places. The first activity in the festival is worshiping. For this part, people make beautifully presented trays to offer to the gods. The meals on the trays are the traditional delicacies that represent the results of a year of hard work of local residents.
After the worshiping procedure, people are free to join in many interesting activities, such as camping, musical performances, and play sports. Folk games and modern sports are among the festival’s sporting events. For the folk games, there are a variety of activities: tug of war, blind man’s bluff, stilt walking, bamboo dancing, bag jumping… Besides, people can play modern sports, such as volleyball and kayaking. These activities attract a great number of participants, creating a bustling atmosphere for the festival.
Many exhibition booths are also set up on this occasion. These stalls help to introduce and sell specialties and traditional products in the region to visitors.
The Long Tong Festival is a distinctive cultural feature of the Tay ethnic group. Every year, the staging of this festival serves to preserve culture, connect communities, as well as draw the tourists and promote Ba Be tourism.