Celebrating true love
of Ha Giang

Ha Giang is home to one of Vietnam’s most exciting and authentic minority festivals, the Khau Vai love market. More than 100 years ago, a couple met a tearful end as tradition and tribal feuds tore them apart. Since then, once a year, the people of Ha Giang gather at the Khau Vai love market to celebrate lost loves, rekindle old flames, or search for a partner. As they come to this market, husband and wives part ways in search of their own happiness. No jealousy is involved, nor any bad feelings. Save the date!

Date: 21 April to 24 April, 2017

The story of the love market

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How the love market festival came to be

The Love market legend originates from the story of a couple – Ba and Ut. Ba was a handsome Nung boy from Khau Vai, who sang and played the flute very well, but his family was quite poor. Meanwhile, Ut was the beautiful daughter of a Chief of the Giay village. They met and fell in love. But Ut’s family was not happy with the situation. Ba was not only poor , he worshipped different gods , had different customs, came from a different tribe; a Nung boy was not allowed to marry a Giay girl.

 

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The couple eloped and lived together in a cave in Khau Vai. The girl’s side meanwhile arrived at the boy’s family home carrying rifles and bows and blaming them for breaking the rule and taking her away. Both sides started a serious fight. Seeing this fighting and feeling guilty about their love causing such problem sfor their parents and other villagers, the couple decided to go back to their respective homes, vowing to become husband and wife in their next life.

Upon breaking up, the couple made a blood vow that, despite the distance, they would see each other on March 27th every year in Khau Vai to sing and share their secrets. They would talk and sing the whole night and then come back to their everyday lives the next day. That was on March 27th which has since become the annual gathering day of the locals at the market. Villagers have built Ong (Husband) and Ba (Wife) shrines at that location to remember their romance.

Event activities

Recreating the legendary love story

The Khau Vai Love Market week is opened with an art performance reflecting the legendary love story at the district stadium.

Friday, 21 April, 2017,  19:30 to 21:30, Meo Vac district stadium

Incense offering ceremony at Ong and Ba shrines

After the tearful end of Love at Khau Vai, the minorities of Khau Vai erected two temples, Mieu Ong and Mieu Ba, for the couple in love. Every year, they honor the tradition and commemorate a couple.

Saturday, 22 April, 2017, 15:00, Khau Vai commune

Nightingale singing contest at the Karst labyrinth

Enjoy the beauty of the nightingales and revel in the melody amidst the magnificence of the Karst plateau.

Saturday, 22 April, 2017, 8:00 to 11:00, Khau Vai commune karst labyrinth

Folk art performance

Antiphonal contest among groups from different communes and towns at the Ong & Ba shrines.

Lo Lo ethnic dances and songs, Giay ethnic drum dance at the stilted house and central stage of the Khau Vai commune.

Saturday, 22 April, 2017, 19:30 – 22:00, Khau Vai commune

Game day

Water carrying by bamboo tubes competition among ethnic groups.

Folk dance contest among ethnic groups within Khau Vai district.

Sunday, 23 April, 2017, 8:00 to 11:00, Khau Vai commune karst labyrinth

See yourself there

Plan your trip

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Find a place

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Getting around

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