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Phong Le village’s Muc dong festival – the sole herdsman festival in Vietnam


In the southern region culture, muc dong (herdsmen) are more than just men or young boys tending to grazing oxes and cows, they are believed to be the ascendants of ‘Than Nong’ (Shennong – deity of agriculture). In the central province of Da Nang’s Phong Le village, Muc dong festival is held every three years to honour the herdsman’s hard work and the mythical powers of Than Nong. This is the one and only festival in Vietnam held for herdsman. This year, the festival is taking place from May 7 – 8 (March 29 and April 1 in lunar calendar), including three ceremonies and various activities. The first ceremony takes place at the local temple worshipping Than Nong, then the procession walks from the temple to ‘con Than’ (the deity’s mound) for a second ceremony. The second ceremony invites the deity’s spirit to join the festival, followed by another procession to carry the spirit to the village’s communal house. The third ceremony takes place inside the communal house, where heads of households pray for their fa
mily’s well-being, prosperity and bumper crop. After the ceremony, locals sing and dance about Than Nong and pray for favourable weather. The event re-enacts a traditional ritual practice of locals in Hoa Vang district, with the aim to educate younger generations on local culture and to attract visitors to the district.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

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