New rice – Ceremony of the M’Nong | Explore SonDoong Cave

New rice – Ceremony of the M’Nong

New rice - Ceremony of the M’Nong

The M’nong have many branches living mainly in Dac Nong, Dac Lac, Binh Phuoc, and Lam Dong province. Luong Thanh Son, Director of the Dac Lac Museum of Ethnicity, says: “The M’nong are categorized by their cultural characters and habitats. The M’nong Rlam live near water and grow wet rice. The M’nong Bu Dong are famous for catching and taming elephants in Don hamlet. The M’nong Preh in Dac Mil, the M’nong Prang in Dac Nong, and the M’nong Gar in Lam Dong cultivate terraced fields.” Read more Travel to Vietnam
Although different branches live in different areas, the M’nong have maintained a common language, common customs, and common cultural identity.

New rice - Ceremony of the M’Nong

New rice – Ceremony of the M’Nong

The New Rice Ceremony is annually organized at the beginning of August when paddy ripens, signaling a bumper crop. According to the M’Nong’s custom, the New Rice ceremony is usually held in the evening. The host spreads out fresh banana leaves inside a large bamboo basket, the put cooked rice, chicken on them, and takes a bowl of rice with a wax-lamp stand inside for worshipping ceremony. Tools of production are also put on the basket. The host puts some rice, pig’s blood, cock’s blood, and can alcohol on the blades of those tools to express the gratitude to them for their help in harvesting crop. After the worshipping ritual, the host serves the meal on banana leaves, and invites guests to enjoy. Each household sends one representative to the ceremony. Those who can’t go will receive a gift, which comprises of a big bowl of rice, and some pieces of meat and fish. After the meal, all the villagers drink can alcohol.

M’nong rules say villagers must respect and help elderly people, the patriarch, and hamlet contributors. The whole village will help a family organize a funeral and show deep sorrow for the dead. Villagers help each other in production, such as an early harvest to avoid a natural disaster. Field owners will give the helpers baskets of rice, corn, or vegetables.

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