What you need to know about Cao Bang’s culture

The minority people in Cao Bang are sincere, open hearted and extremely hospitable. However, it is useful to know some of their customs and habits in order to avoid forbidden things when visiting hamlets, houses of minority people.
  • When getting into a house, it is necessary for visitor to carefully observe. If you see a green tree branch at the end of the staircase, this is the signal that strangers are not welcome to come in.
  • In the house, altar is put in the middle, over looking the main door. Sometimes, the altar is put in the gable of the house. Visitor should avoid to approach, not put belongings, and touch the offerings. When sitting, visitor should not sit with his/her back to that holly place, particularly woman.
  • Nung ethnic people often place their incense at the yard to worship phi hang chan (ghost under floor). Strangers are not allowed to come closely to that incense.
  • Tay ethnic people have customs to worship phi phing phiay (fire ghost). It is necessary to abstain from having quarrels near the fire.
  • During Lunar New Year, Mong ethnic people abstain from holding knife, scissors to kill cattle. It is said that if they do that, there will be unlucky things happened to their family. Dao ethnic people often invite wizard to pray the Heaven, the Earth, ancestors for good weather and favorable growing. This is a very important rites. During the rites (1 day, 1 night), strangers are not allowed to come in.
  • Normally, in field, a shrine is built to worship Than Nong (God of Farming) or Thieng slan by Tay ethnic people. Thieng slan often built in forest ranges, where there are a lot of big trees, and streams. Local people abstain from breaking tree branches, making dirty near Thieng slan.