|The Co Lao community in Ha Giang province|
Tet has a great significance to Co Lao people because, according to them, these are the most peaceful and funniest days in a year when everyone, every family takes a rest and welcome the new year together. They conceive that the new year is an opportunity to show gratitude to their parents, thank their ancestors and Gods for blessing them and giving them health and luck during the last year.
The atmosphere of the New Year usually comes to Co Lao families very early, from the 23th December in lunar calendar. In the families, people begin to be busy preparing for worshiping the kitchen god ritual, an indispensable god in daily life in the belief of people. From then until 25th December, members of the family will help each other to clean and tidy their house ready for the new year.
|Pork is an indispensable food at Tet of Co Lao ethnic|
|The happiness in the face of Co Lao people at Tet|
By the 30th night of December, people boil a pot of water consisting of kinds of leaves harvested in the forest and in the garden such as tea, guava, camphor, grapefruit leaves... for the family members to bath. Then, they offer a feast to the ancestor inviting them to celebrate the lunar New Year on the altar, the sacrifice must include: a boiled rooster, 3 square pieces of boiled pork, Day cake, wine, and votive paper. According to the opinion of the Co Lao, the rooster means sweeping, sweep away the evil to welcome the luck and goodness in the new year.
In the 1st morning of the new year, rice offering will be the first work to be done; however, especially in this day people abstain from having girls leave their house, cleaning the house or doing anything from morning until night. Generally, they will wait for men or boys to first-foot their house, exchange best wishes then the girls can go out. In the 2nd day of the New Year, people will butcher 2 roosters to offer to the Kitchen God and the lay midwife of the children to pray for health, prosperity, wealth... By the 3rd, if choosing a lucky day, the family will take down the large Day cake down and finish their 3-day Tet holiday.
|A traditional game at Tet|