Xang Khan- the Unique and Meaningful Festival of Thai Ethnic in Nghe An

Since ancient time, all the villages of Thai ethnic have held Xang Khan festival; therefore, it can be said that this is a festival with many great public significance of Thai people in western Nghe An.

Xang Khan Festival is the happy day of Muong village in general and of the relatives of shamans in particular. Xang Khan Festival is a holiday for people in all over the village to acknowledge and requite the shamans’ favour for teaching them to heal the diseases for the family. This is also a day for the couples to meet, make friend and even some get married thanks to this festival. This is not a festival for a family, or for the village only, but also for tourists from everywhere to take part in the festival. Previously, Xang Khan festival was taken place in 2-3 days, but now it is held in only 1 day and 1 night.
Xang Khan festival is the happy day of both villagers and visitors
The main ritual of Xang Khan festival is not complicated and expensive, the typical offerings are 7-10 jars of wine, two pigs, two chickens and grilled fish, betel ... The indispensable thing in the festival is Booc may tree put in the center of the house where the ritual is carried out. Booc may tree made from old bamboo, 4m high, is drilled with several holes and is divided into different layers. Each hole is arranged hanging as a symbol of birds, fish, cicadas, snakes ... These items are made from gut of cassava, tang tree in the forest and are colored green, red, purple, yellow ... On top of Booc may tree people tie a square umbrella which the girls use when the shaman dances Xang Khan.

Booc may tree- the indispensable thing in Xang Khan festival
Beside the Booc may, there is a series of gongs, drums, and Bu Bong tree (made from bamboo tube, about 50cm long) knocked on the plank according to the rhythm of gongs and drums. Without these items, Xang Khan festival will lose its meaning and unique. When celebrating the ceremony, the shamans take the lead and is followed by some women. Each shaman has a woman holding an umbrella, following him, singing and dancing around the Booc may tree. This is the most exciting and boisterous time of Xang Khan festival. Everyone dance happily and enthusiastically, immerse themselves in the bustling echoes of gongs and drums.

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In Xang Khan festival, women hold umbrellas and follow the shamans
The highlight of Xang Khan festival is when the shamans pray for peace in the village, ponds full of fish, paddy fields full of rice for the village, and wish all the family rich, everyone healthy, children successful... The prayers (in writing) read in Xang Khan festival are generally the epic songs, legends in verse which tell the story of the establishment and history of the village, the heroes of Thai ethnic, about the life of Gods, ancestors in the heaven...

The shaman carries out the ritual to wish luck and peace for the village
Held every three years, Xang Khan festival makes everyone happier, the neighbor relationship is also tighten from this festival. Nowadays, Xang Khan festival has really become an indispensable activity in the cultural life of the Thai people in western Nghe An.

Kep Booc (picking flowers) is the final part of Xang Khan festival. This time, the host picks flowers and gives everyone in the festival as presents. Each flower is a reward symbolizing the lucky in life.

Xang Khan- the Unique and Meaningful Festival of Thai Ethnic in Nghe An

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