Xoe Dancing Festival

Xoe Dancing Festival
Time: The 15th day of the first lunar month.
Place: Ta Chai Commune, Bac Ha District, Lao Cai Province.
Objects of worship: Agriculture Deity (administer of fields and gardens).
Characteristics: Xoe dancing of the Tay.

Located close to Bac Ha Town, Ta Chai Commune (Bac Ha District, Lao Cai Province) has 9 villages, home to Tay ethnic people. Coming to Ta Chai, tourists love to take a walk along bendy roads around villages, admire small house on stilts, participate local daily life activities and especially enjoy special xoe dancing of Tay ethnic people.
In the past, xoe dancing was performed for family of hereditary chief Hoang A Tuong, guests and commanders. During the time supporting Hoang A Tuong Palace construction, the French combined valse rhythm with xoe dancing making the unique of Tay xoe, which is different from Muong xoe, Thai xoe.

Now, xoe dancing is an indispensable activity in community cultural events of Tay people in Ta Chai. In Long Tong Festival, worshiping forest festival, new rice festival…, xoe dancing is performed. Specially, on the 5th day of the first lunar month, tourists are able to joining xoe dancing festival to pray for good crop, full of grains and rice. The ritual is rather simple with a tray of offerings put at the foot of a neu tree which shows the sincerity of villagers to the god of farming. After the priest finishes the rituals, all villagers take part in dancing of xoe in the boisterous sounds of gong, drum.

In addition to entertainment purpose, xoe dancing takes an importance role in linking community, showing special culture of Tay people. In order to preserve traditional dances, Ta Chai commune set up 5 xoe dancing team in Na Kim, Na Pac Ngam, Na Lo, Na Lang and Na Hoi villages, with 12 to 15 members each team.

Xoe dancing becomes a feature of Tay culture in Ta Chai. After leaving here, tourists still remember lissome dance of charming Tay girls and hospitability of local people.