Opening ceremony of the Khau Vai Love Market festival (Source: nongnghiep.vn)
Featuring various activities, the two-day festival aims to preserve the cultural values of the local ethnic groups while attracting visitors and stimulating socio-economic development in the northernmost area of Vietnam.
Nguyen Cao Cuong, Chairman of the Meo Vac district’s People’s Committee said the festival offers visitors a chance to join local residents’ daily life, and enjoy traditional foods of local ethnic minority groups and cultural and art activities held in the framework of the event as well.
The Khau Vai Love Market is a popular attraction in Ha Giang, even though it is held only once a year at a distance of nearly 200km from the city.
On the 27th day of the third lunar month, local ethnic women and men put on their best traditional costumes and go to the market where they are free to meet their former lovers in public.
Husbands and wives arrive at the market together and start looking for their past partners among the crowd. Spouses do not get angry or jealous because the meeting at the market is supposed to be a temporary moment and does not affect their daily lives or relationship.
According to folklore, a man and a woman were deeply in love but were forbidden to be together because they were from different ethnic groups. A violent conflict later took place between the two tribes, resulting in bloodshed for both. To stop the fierce fight, the couple decided to part ways with broken hearts. They, however, promised to meet once every year in the market in Khau Vai commune on the 27th of the third lunar month.
This year’s event is organised on the occasion of the 6th edition of the National Festival of Traditional Then singing, and the time to publicise the Plan of Dong Van Karst Plateau national tourism site, so this is a good time for Ha Giang to attract domestic and international holiday-makers.
The festival has become a special cultural tourism product of Ha Giang province.
Visitors to Ha Giang can explore popular tourism destinations like Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark, Lung Cu Flag Pole, Ma Pi Leng Peak and Dong Van Town Old Quarter./.