Khu Gia Gia or Kho Gia Gia in language of Ha Nhi minority means: «Bumper Crop». This is a seasonal festival and is also the biggest festival in the year of Ha Nhi people. Ha Nhi people celebrate this Festival to worship and appreciate the gods of protecting crops and lush crops. Khu Gia Gia festival is closely associated with the cultural and history of Ha Nhi people.
Traditionally, Khu Gia Gia festival is held for 4 days, on the days of Dragon (Dragon), Snake (Snake), Ngo (Horse), Mui (Goat) in lunar calender of the sixth month. During this festival, there are many rituals to pray for seasons. This is also an opportunity for children and grandchildren to raise ancestors of cultivated products in the past year. In preparation for welcoming the Old Quarter, the village dignitaries convened a meeting of village patriarchs and heads to discuss the contribution of buffaloes and the construction of tents to worship the gods. Before the festival, the whole village was bustling with the atmosphere of welcoming the festival. Women take on the task of preparing traditional offerings for the worshiping ceremony on the day of Thin (the first day of the festival). In the early morning, the thick pestle pounding of Ha Nhi women has been bustling all over the village.
Photo by Thanh Tuan
Meanwhile, the men in the village were mobilized into the forest to select the wood to build some traditonal game for the festival’s activities. On the second day (the day of the Snake), the whole village will perform the ritual of buffalo sacrifice. According to the custom, the buffalo must be male, strong, black hair and to be bought from other village. After the main rituals, the buffalo surgery took place in the tents in front of the village and also the common space of the whole village. Each family have a man to participate in the buffalo pecking ceremony and bring the buffalo meat to his home.
Photo by Thanh Tuan
Entering the third day (Ngo's day) the villagers began to hold offerings, celebrate in the evening. According to the legend of Ha Nhi people, the heavenly elves came to the earth to play seesaw and swing games. In Khu Gia Gia festival, Ha Nhi minority have to make a new swing and a seesaw before the place of worship for different activities in the festival of villagers.
Especially in culture of Ha Nhi people, swinging and seesaw are also the symbol of fertility so it’s reson why in two games need both men and women to play together, it means yin and yang harmony for all things to proliferate. Khu Gia Gia festival have many dances with traditonal music performance, there are also some folk games such as swinging rope, seesawing, love singing, lion dance, leaf blowing, showing the unique characteristics of transmission in system of cultural life of Ha Nhi people. In this ceremony of Kho Gia Gia shows that Ha Nhi minority have great attention to the ancestor worship rituals, worship the natural gods that affect the lives of people and the Ha Nhi people also show the spirit of the group, collective association mutual support in a village community during the Holiday.