[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai

The maturity ritual (Cap Sac) of the Red Dao people at Tong Sanh Commune, Bat Xat District, Lao Cai Province, takes place in February and March every year. This is an important traditional ritual of the Red Dao people. The maturity ritual ceremony of the Red Dao people is an indispensable event in the life of every Dao male as it helps him earn the recognition of being mature enough to join in the community’s major activities.
[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 1

The area where the ceremony is held is selected by the shaman. Shamans conduct a ritual dedicated to the Jade Emperor before granting le cap sac to Red Dao men.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 2

The shaman prepares documents related to the ritual.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 3

The "Cap sac" ritual is divided into three levels: three lamps, seven lamps and twelve lamps, which represent the number of lamps the person passing the ritual is granted. Each level reflects a different meaning and rank.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 4

All Dao men must go through the rite in order to be recognised by the community as mature enough to undertake communal positions. The ritual holds a significant educational value as it promotes good deeds as well as family and community responsibilities.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 5

According to the Dao people, a man who has not undergone the ceremony is not considered an adult.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 6

This is the day they are recognised as both physically and mentally mature, so they are very interested and valued.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 7

This is also a ceremony for the man of the family and clan to receive the recognition of the gods.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 8

The shaman invites the gods and ancestors of the family by performing the ceremony and lighting 7 lamps. After the candles are lit, the shamans begin to move around to perform the ceremony.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 9

The shamans begin to perform the ceremony.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 10

Meanwhile, women sit in a separate area and handle logistics to serve the ceremony.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 11

In addition to the rites and ceremonies, the ceremony also takes place with a variety of folk-art forms expressing religious and belief purposes through music, hymns, performances, dances, performances, rituals, and folk dances, thus reflecting the content of history and culture, creating a joyful activity, and attracting the enthusiastic participation of villagers.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 12

The “Cap Sac” rite of the Dao ethnic minority group has been recognised as part of the national intangible cultural heritage.

[Photo] Red Dao people’s 7-lamp maturity ritual ceremony in Lao Cai ảnh 13

The ritual of the Red Dao people clearly demonstrates the community's concept of the spiritual world, and at the same time clearly represents the unique cultural identity of the ethnic people.

NDO
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