Khau Vai „Love Market“ – Video

„Market of Love“ in Khau Vai, Ha Giang province. One of the most interesting and authentic ethnic markets in the mountains of northern Vietnam, which is held only once a year. Young people from ethnic groups build relationships on this place, but also meet here people, who were unable to live together. This event also held various board games, competitions, festivities and people are having fun. On the 27th of the third lunar month, local ethnic women and men put on their best traditional costumes to go to the market, where they are free to meet with their ex-lovers in public. Husbands and wives arrive at the market together before they both look for their past partners among the crowd. Spouses do not get angry or jealous because the meeting at the market is just a temporary moment and does not influence their daily lives or relationship.

Khau Vai Love Market: A Unique Cultural Experience in Vietnam

Nestled in the northern mountains of Vietnam, Khau Vai Love Market stands as a testament to centuries-old traditions and a unique cultural phenomenon. Here is some useful information for those intrigued by this distinctive market and the romantic folklore that surrounds it:

1. Historical Origins:

Khau Vai Love Market has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century. Legend has it that a love affair between a married woman from the Nung ethnic minority and a man from the Giay ethnic group sparked the establishment of the market. Since then, it has become a gathering place for people seeking solace and companionship outside their marital relationships.

2. Occurrence and Timing:

The market takes place annually on the 26th and 27th days of the third lunar month. During this time, ethnic minority groups, including the Nung, Giay, and Tay, converge on Khau Vai commune in Meo Vac district, Ha Giang province, to participate in the unique festivities.

3. Not a Traditional Market:

Unlike typical markets focused on commerce, Khau Vai is primarily a love market where individuals come to reconnect with past lovers or find new ones. It serves as a social gathering where people share stories, engage in conversations, and celebrate the complexities of love and relationships.

4. Embracing Diversity:

Khau Vai Love Market is not limited to a particular age group. People of various ages, from young adults to the elderly, partake in the event. It showcases the diversity of experiences and perspectives surrounding love and relationships within these ethnic communities.

5. Cultural Performances and Rituals:

The market is accompanied by traditional music and dance performances, adding to the festive atmosphere. Rituals are also conducted, symbolizing the respect and understanding between different ethnic groups. The event is an opportunity for cultural exchange and the strengthening of bonds among communities.

6. Symbolic Gestures:

Visitors may witness symbolic actions during the market, such as the exchange of traditional gifts or the tying of red strings on each other’s wrists. These gestures are believed to bring good luck and fortune in love.

7. Respecting Local Customs:

While the Khau Vai Love Market is a fascinating cultural experience, it’s essential for visitors to approach the event with respect and sensitivity. Avoid intrusive behavior and seek permission before taking photographs of individuals or participating in local rituals.

8. Accommodations and Transportation:

Meo Vac is the nearest town to Khau Vai, and visitors can find accommodations there. However, due to the remote location, it’s advisable to plan transportation in advance, considering the mountainous terrain. Hiring a local guide can enhance your understanding of the cultural nuances.

9. Explore the Surrounding Beauty:

The region around Khau Vai is known for its stunning landscapes, including breathtaking mountain vistas and picturesque valleys. Consider extending your stay to explore the natural beauty and unique ethnic cultures in the surrounding areas.

10. Check Local Events Schedule:

While the Khau Vai Love Market traditionally takes place in April, it’s advisable to check local event schedules and confirm the dates before planning your visit, as they may be subject to change.

Khau Vai Love Market offers a captivating blend of tradition, folklore, and cultural exchange. For those seeking a unique and enriching experience, this annual event provides a glimpse into the diverse perspectives on love within the ethnic communities of northern Vietnam.

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