A maturity ritual (Cap Sac) of the Red Dao ethnic community took place as a joyful New Year activity in Sa Pa district in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai on February 18.
Scene from a maturity ceremony of the Red Dao ethnic community.
“Cap Sac” rites often fall on the lunar calendar’s Eleventh, Twelfth and First months annually, when farmers enjoy their free time after harvest. A Red Dao ethnic male aged from 12 to 30, and even order, is able to enter a maturity ritual that can give recognition for a maximum of 13 people .
All Dao men must go through the rite, which is normally organised among local families, in order to be recognised by the community as mature enough to undertake communal positions. The ritual holds a significant educational value as it promotes good deeds as well as family and community responsibilities.
With the traditional ceremony publicly depicted, Sa Pa authorities expect it to become a tourist attraction.
At the event, tourists and locals had a chance to enjoy all major stages of a “Cap Sac” rite, including a welcoming-ceremony for ancestors, the presentation of offerings, and musical performances opening and rounding off the ritual.
Folk games, such as tug-of-war and bamboo pole climbing, were also highlights of the festival.
“Cap Sac” rite of the Dao ethnic minority group has been recognised as part of the national intangible cultural heritage.