The Dao Thanh Phan ethnic minority community in Quang Ninh has unique cultural practices, including very colorful traditional outfits that brighten up a mountainous northern district.
Binh Lieu is a mountainous district in the northern province of Quang Ninh, populated mainly by ethnic minority communities, including the Tay, Dao and Thai.
The Dao Thanh Phan community mainly lives in isolated mountain villages like Song Mooc A, Song Mooc B, Phat Chi and Khe Tien.
A very distinctive part of their attire is a headgear-like box covered with a very colorful scarf and held in place by a string tied under the chin. Married women shave their heads and eyebrows and cover their teeth with gold.
An interesting fact about their colorful attire dominated by red shades is that the Dao believe they help keep wild beasts at bay.
Modern intrusions haven't changed the lives and customs of the Dao people much. Instead, their almost unchanged lifestyle has added to the local natural attractions like terraced rice fields.">
A woman is talking on her cell phone.
Modern intrusions have not changed the lives and customs of the Dao people much. Instead, their almost unchanged way of life added to local natural attractions like rice terraces.
Their traditional yellow earth houses with yin-yang tiled roofs are still built near rice paddies and water sources to facilitate their work on the farm and at home.
The Dao Thanh Phan hold their most important annual traditional festival on the fourth day of the fourth lunar month. Traditional festival practices are designed to ward off wild animals, thwart natural disasters, and pray for prosperity and bumper harvests. These days, some shopping expeditions have become part of the festival activities.
Almost all Dao women, young and old, are good at embroidery. Before getting married, Dao women embroider their wedding dresses by hand and also make dresses for their mother-in-law.
In October-November, their terraced fields enter the harvest season and provide a beautiful view along the border road at Song Mooc village in Dong Van commune, about 30 km from Binh Lieu town center. The Dao work their rice fields from dawn to dusk.
Given the terrain, they only plant and harvest one rice crop per year. In recent years, Binh Lieu has become a tourist destination in northern Vietnam during the rice harvest season.
After the full moon of the 12th lunar month, the Dao begin to celebrate their Lunar New Year, an event that attracts the interest of increasing numbers of domestic and international visitors.