Celebrations for the traditional Lunar New Year, known locally as Tet, of the Mong ethnic minority in Moc Chau in the northern mountainous province of Son La starts on November 26 of the lunar calendar, a month ahead of the country’s official Tet festival.
During the final days of the lunar month people spend time to clean their houses in order to sweep away the ‘bad things’ from the past year to welcome in a new year full of ‘good things’.
Then local people make Banh day (rice cake). This cake is an indispensable dish of the Mong people and plays just as an important role as Chung cake does for the Kinh (Viet) people during the Tet.
In the traditional beliefs of the Mong people, the round cake symbolizes both the sun and the moon, which forms the origin of human beings and all things on earth.
New Year celebrations of the Mong people also features many unique customs, including the tradition that on the first day of the New Year, the rooster crowing signals the start of a new day and the men should be the first ones to get up in the family and do housework.
Throughout the day, the Mong men will do all the housework for the women, ranging from cooking to cleaning chicken coops, washing pigs, and preparing the meals.
Mong children are taken to choose new clothes for Tet.
On the first days of the year, Mong people dress in their most beautiful outfits and then pay a visit to each other's houses.