La Van village festival
The ancient La Van is also named La Mien -the home of the traditional vocation - planting cotton and weaving cloth. The name La Van appeared firstly in 1941. Nowadays, La Van village belongs to Quynh Hong community Quynh Phu district, Thai Binh province. On the 4th of the first lunar month every year, La Van village organizes the festival of "Vocation Performance" in order to greet a new spring and wish best things for the whole village in the new year.
In this festival, the ceremonial character is not expressed obviously, instead of, its major purpose is to show original and cheerful traditional amusements.
The festival takes place in Mien village temple. Pilgrims come to see very crowded. Actors and Actresses are young men in the village. The person who is responsible for guiding all activities of the festival is a healthy and prestigious old man in solemn costumes with pleated ready to wear turban and yellow court robes. He gathers all actors and actresses to offer sacrifice to the tutelary god new year. After that, amusements start. All performers are made - up so fancifully, cutely and funny that when they appear, everybody can help laughing.
Some typical amusements are Si - Cong - Thuong and Nong (the literate - worker merchant -farmer). In the scene of the literate show's a person plays the part of a teacher who looks majestic in brown dressing gown, one hand holds a rattan switch, other hand constantly corrects his turban. Following him is a student whose hands splash ink and holds a scrinium. Both the teacher and the student take a corner m the ground. The teacher sits on a sleeping mat, opens book put on the scrinium while the student presses his palms together with frightened face because he did not know the lesson. Sometimes, he is punished to lie on his stomach and to be lashed some whips. Each time the student makes a wry face because of being hurt, the whole people laugh very loudly.
In the scene of worker's show there is a carpenter who is sawing zealously a log. He both does and blows out his checks, uses his sleeves to clean sweat as if he has to work very hard.
In the scene of merchant's show, a merchant is carrying a rattan with a pole with not quite well steps. When putting the rattan down, he exhibits many kinds of commodities and calls out their prices like in a market. Both seller and buyer play their roles naturally and cheerfully as in a real exchange. Most original is the show of farmers. Boys disguise into women who are going to their fields for transplanting looking very witty and spontaneous. Their appearance make everybody laugh. And each time the farmer calls his buffalo, all people also laugh because the buffalo is a spurious one with his eyes are as big as two orange fruits.Although these amusements have existed for an extreme long time, every year, they still attract a lot of pilgrims. It is said that La Van festival is originated from the festival of taking to the field. Later, it was created and supplemented more in order to become the festival like today which reflects a mini-aturization society including four basic sectors to be: the literate, farmer, worker and merchant. The festival of vocation exhibition of La Van village has made a share a new and original feature in treasure -house of art, literature in Viet Nam.