Sedang people celebrate New Rice Festival
Villagers dance and sing around the totem tree (Source: VNA)
The first day of the new year is also time for the Sedang, an
ethnic group among the 54 ethnicities of Vietnam, to celebrate their New Rice
of the most important festivals for the Sedang, the festival is held at the
beginning of the year to appease the spirit of the rice, to celebrate a
bountiful harvest and to pray for good fortune in the new year.
festival begins with Sedang families going to their rice field to pick the most
beautiful rice plants and bring them home. Families must prepare food offerings
to the spirit using the new rice.
the day of the ceremony, a village elder summons everyone to the village’s nha
rong – the Sedang’s communal house where the majority of their spiritual and
social activities take place. Young men erect a cay neu – a tall tree with a
totem on top of it – in front of the house.
Sedang dance and sing around the tree. Their musical instruments include gongs
in various sizes and the Klongput – a wind clap xylophone. Made of bodies of
bamboo trees cut and designed in different length, the xylophone sound is made
when people clap their hands near one of their ends.
of the Sedang villages, which house a total population of nearly 100,000, are
located in Vietnam’s central highlands region. Isolated and often without
contact with other villages, the Sedangs were said to be fierce warriors years
ago. The Sedangs now make farming their primary occupation.-VNA