Thai ethnic people’s ritual re-enacted

A crucial ritual among Thai ethnic community to tribute witch doctors was re-enacted recently in Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism.




As spring comes with apricot trees blossoming white in northwestern forests, Thai villagers flock to the home of their witch doctor to hold a special ceremony called xen lau no.

Xen lau no, which means offering rice wine in the bamboo shoot season in Thai language, is a unique ceremony dedicated to “ong mot” (witch doctor) who are highly respected in the Thai community for curing sick persons.

“This ceremony is very important to our community so it is always well prepared. It features distinctive cultural identities of Thai ethnic people in general and those in Son La province in particular,” said Lo Van Nhao, a Thai ethnic in Son La province.

The ceremony is held for three days between the 3rd and 15th of the first lunar month at the home of the mo mot. It is an important event in the spiritual life of the Thai during which the group honors their original belief and cultural traditions.

Xen lau no is an original belief activity of the Thai to honor witch doctors who are not only the spiritual leaders of the Thai community but also folklore singers and dancers who help promote and preserve the group’s cultural values.

“All items for the ritual are brought from Son La province so that participants could have the most realistic experiences when attending the ceremony,” said Ngo Thi Hai Yen, Head of Heritage Management Division under Son La’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Nguyen Thi Nga, a visitor from Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi said: “This is my first time here. I found the activity very interesting. By participating in the event, I have gained knowledge on Thai ethnic people and also other communities residing in the village”.

Visitors to the culture village will also have chances to experience other interesting activities, including traditional customs of different ethnic groups.

The culture village today is a popular destination for recreation, sports and cultural activities and continues to promote the cultural values of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities.-VNA

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