LE MAT VILLAGE

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Le Mat Village belongs to the Viet Hung Commune, Gia Lam District, Hanoi. The Le Mat Village Festival is held annually on the 23rd of the third month of the lunar calendar. In the early morning of the 23rd day of the third month, representatives of the 13 camps at the west of the Ancient Capital of Thang Long carry 13 trays of food over their heads from capital to the Le Mat Village.
At the beginning of the festival, water and carp processions are staged and brought to the Thanh Communal House.

This ritual reminds the present generation of the heroic man’s accomplishments of exploiting and bringing about agriculture to the village. A snake act is then performed in the yard of the communal house. The snake (made of bamboo taped with cloth) symbolizes the water-monster species that has been bitten by a youth’s power and will. The music of this act is an octet and the sound of the drummer’s double rhythm is haunting. The Le Mat Village Festival provides the chance for children in the village, and the others who have reclaimed this ancient wasteland in the city, to meet and retell the history of the establishment of the village. The challenge and difficulty that was encountered in the establishment of the village is expressed in the sincere homage of the ancestors of the village.
In addition to the ceremony, the Le Mat people have a special talent for catching snakes. While attending the Le Mat Village Festival, guests can be offered a cup of snake wine with 3 or 5 snakes inside.

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