Culture Culture

22/12/2018 - 08:31

A Luoi district's unique Aza Koonh festival 

Aza is a traditional festival. It is the traditional New Year of Pa Co ethnic minority in particular and ethnic minorities in A Luoi district in general. This is one of the unique cultural quintessence which should be promoted and protected.

Village elders and their descendants participating in the festival

On the morning of December 20, the Department of Culture and Sports coordinated with the People's Committee of A Luoi district to organize the traditional Aza Koonh festival of Pa Co -Ta Oi people in A Luoi district.

There are many rituals  in the Aza Koonh festival: a xa a rah (purification ritual), Kâl laiq (chasing evil spirits ritual), Cha chootq (preparation ritual), Ka coong tro (inviting rice goddess ritual) , Aza ritual, Giang ritual (offering ceremonies for gods of rivers, streams, wind, clouds, fire, land, roads ...), Cha dooi ar beh (new meal ceremony), feast handover ceremony ...

This  is a festival to show respect and gratitude to the gods who regulate the weather for the lush bumper crops. It is also to show thanks to the goddesses of plant varieties, especially the rice goddess who has nurtured generations and generations of children.

Aza is also a festival affirming the close relationship and attachment of the villagers. "Aza Koonh is a big, community event organized every five to ten years," said Ms. Le Thi Them, Head of A Luoi district's Culture and Information Division.

Many offerings are offered

Mr. Phan Tien Dung, director of the Department of Culture and Sports, said that Aza Koonh Festival of Pa Co - Ta Oi peoples is one of the unique treasures of the western Thua Thien Hue ethnic minorities. Therefore, the Department has made a request to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to carry out a research project to preserve and promote the values ​​of this festival. This is a kind of culture that expresses many different values, both in terms of the rituals and festivity.

"The factor that we care about is the need to protect and preserve traditional values. The festival is an opportunity to gather and preserve, as well as restore oblivious dances and songs. It also provides data for researchers and those wishing to enhance their knowledge of the local cultural values. The Department will make a proposal to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to recognize this festival as an intangible masterpiece of the country," Mr. Dung said.

* Images taken by Thua Thien Hue Online at the festival:

The nêu tree is raised in front of the community house

The offerings and the nêu tree

A Pa Co family performing Aza rituals at home

Building a kitchen fire

Villagers bringing offerings to the community house where the Aza Koonh festival is held

A village elder performing the ritual to invite the rice goddess

Worship in the area of nêu tree

Bringing the offerings to worship

The new meal ritual

Families making offerings to the gods

Many children also "attend" the festival

Aza worship

A video clip of a village elder conducting some Aza rituals

By Huu Phuc