GONG FESTIVAL 2018 WILL BE HELD IN MID-NOVEMBER

GONG FESTIVAL 2018 WILL BE HELD IN MID-NOVEMBER

Assigned by Prime Minister, Gia Lai province will organize the Gong festival 2018 in the mid-November with the unity of local ethnic communities as its main theme. 

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Cultural Space of Central Highland’s Gong

The Cultural Space of Central Highland’s Gong was recognized by the UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage of the humanity in 2005. It is closely linked to the daily life of local people. Their belief systems form a mystical world where the gongs produce a privileged language between men, divinities and the supernatural world.

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Cultural Space of Central Highland’s Gong

The masters of Gong culture are the ethnic groups of Ba Na, Xo Dang, M’Nong, Co Ho, Ro Mam, E De, Gia Rai… The Gong performances are always closely tied to community cultural rituals and ceremonies of the ethnic groups in Central Highlands. Many researchers have classified gongs as ceremonial musical instrument and the Gong sounds as a means to communicate with deities and gods. As for the majority of ethnic groups in Central Highlands, Gongs are musical instruments of sacred power. It is believed that every gong is the settlement of a god who gets more powerful as the gong is older. "God of gong" is always considered as the tutelary deity for the community’s life. Therefore, Gongs are associated to all rites in one’s life, such as the inauguration of new houses, funerals, buffalo sacrifice, crop praying rite, new harvest, ceremony to pray for people’s and cattle’s health, ceremony to see-off soldiers to the front, and the victory celebration. 

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Gong Playing 

The Gongs are made of brass alloy or a mixture of brass and gold, silver, bronze. Their diameter is from 20cm to 60cm or from 90cm to 120cm. A set of gongs consists of 2 to 12 or 13 units and even to 18 or 20 units in some places. In most of ethnic groups, namely Gia Rai, Ede Kpah, Ba Na, Xo Dang, Brau, Co Ho, etc., only males are allowed to play gongs. However, in others such as Ma and M’Nong groups, both males and females can play gongs. In few ethnic groups (for example, E De Bih), Gongs are performed by women only. 

If you travel to Vietnam, especially if your itinerary includes the Hidden Gem of Central Highland, in this period with Blue Sky Travel Vietnam, you will have opportunity to join many activities of this street festival which features Gong performances with some traditional rituals and festivals of the Central Highland’s ethnic groups. This is the best way to deeply discover Vietnam and love its colorful and abundant cultures. 

Source: Vietnam Tourism

Edited by: Blue Sky Travel Vietnam

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