The Mysterious Fire Dance of the Pa Then minority tribe

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).

The Fire Dance of the Pa Then tribe
Offering to their ancestors and the god of fire and water.
The Shaman would beat a rhythmic and hypnotic beat on a piece of wood.
Everyone crowded around the bonfire
The young men when possessed would jumped into the fire bare footed.
One of the young men who participated in this event.
The dancers would spent a couple of minutes dancing in the fire.
All the villagers gathered at this dance
The children were at the forefront of the group.
All the villagers were dressed in their traditional costumes.
Colurful embroidery back baby carriers used by the villagers. It has an extra cover when the baby is asleep.