Pa Then minority tribe is perhaps the smallest tribe in Northern Vietnam. It consist of slight more than 5,000 people.
The fire dance festival is held annually after a successful harvest. It is held occasionally between mid October till Yuan Xiao Jie (15th day of the Chinese New Year)
The fire dance starts by a Shaman worshiping their ancestors and asking permission from the god of fire and water. A group of helpers would start the wood bonfire and the Shaman would start the fire dance. He would also be beating a rhythmic beat on a wood instrument.
A group of young men would be sitting around the fire and waiting for their “souls” to possess them. Once they are possessed, they would stretch themselves and jump into the fire bare footed. They seem to be immune to the burning bonfire. They would dance a couple of minutes in the bonfire before the next dancers take their place.
This is a very interesting and must go event for photographers if you are visiting Ha Giang (North Vietnam).