The Hmong New Year festivities are a joyous and interesting occasion. This festival normally takes place before the end of the lunar calendar.
Hmong people all come from the hill and mountain areas. In genetic way they had lived in China for the last 2000 years before they were forced to move to escape the King Dynasty.
Hmong New Year is typically a three days celebration which deeply honors the rich culture and heritage of the Hmong people. Many fun competitions are organized by the community to create a unique and strong bonding with each other.
Tributes to the ancestors are also paid on this day. Hmong New Year is also known in the Name of “NOJ PEB CAUG” and many traditional rites are seen on that day to perform in it. Some of them take place indoors while the other celebrations generally take place out of door. Every Hmong family members believe that the day’s celebrations are carried out in such a way so as to honor the Cycle of life. There are some names of the Hmong festivals, such as HU PLIG, TXI XWM KAB, NEEBFOOB, PE STSIAB.
Many tribes are well known by the color and detail of their clothing. Black Hmong people wear deep indigo dyed clothing that include with a jacket with embroidered sleeves. The Hmong community attaches great respect to their ancestors who are departed also. Prayers are made to invite the lamented soul to join in as the family unites to seek blessings. Xim Kaab a house spirit is responsible to bring wealth to the entire family. New Year is the time to move forward for a better tomorrow than past.
During this time the harvest is finished and there are lots of foods.
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Hmong are known as “Miao” in China. They are the genetic group recently native to various other countries. It is believed they have come from Southern China. Mia are people who belonged to the early 3rd century and are extremely proud and independent. They are extremely difficult to discover and they have a verbal custom as other people have always encouraged them. The history of Hmong has been passed down through various celebrations and ceremonial rituals from one generation to the next generation. The Hmong women sew story of art beautifully in their textile. Through previous historical records the Hmong have been identifiable. They have maintained their own languages and customs. Hmong people are still left in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and China. The group endures a dominant organizing force in Hmong society. Eighteen Hmong groups are known in Laos. Inclusion in the group is by Adoption or through birth.
The Hmong people celebrate the New Year to give thanks to their forefather and the spirits, and to welcome in a new beginning. During this time they play toss game Pov Pob which is known as a common activity for the youth. Both boys and girls participate in this game facing one another. Girls can boll toss but the boys cannot toss with other boys. In this game if a player miss the ball an ornament or any item then that should be given to the opposite player by singing love songs. The Hmong people celebrate this festival in every house. Specifically, this celebration begins by in – house rituals that call back the wandering souls of every family member of the past and to help bless their house. It is the rice harvesting season, and also the beginning of a new year. Every family member unites with the others. The younger will respect the older persons .it is a rite of passage for blessings from elders of the house to flow to the younger. Wealth, prosperity and house spirits are honored during this festival. This occasion lasts for three days with delicious cuisine for ten dishes each day. The spirit named Shee Yee is responsible for blessing the family with better health throughout the year. There are some homes where the tradition of sacrificing chicken and eggs strictly. Some Hmong people believe in the ceremonial ritual of walking past under a vine. This ritual is believed to have been performed in the hope that the future will come with lots of happiness, hope prosperity and positivity.
To declare the arrival of the New Year; the women of the Hmong community fetches clean water at midnight. Bull fight is a customary form of enjoyment during this festival. Hmong people dresses in traditional outfits. Thus they wear lots of colorful dresses with beads and hats. These are normally worn by the ladies, and the boys dress in white collared formal costumes. Lots of enjoyments with traditional food, drinks, music, dance, games are held. Soccer and volleyball are some of the sports held in this festival. These New Year celebrations are mostly genetic and also culturally enriching for the Hmong people and the New Year celebrations take place annually in selective areas where Hmong communities belong. This festival generally occurs in November and December. Female members generally cook food. A cow and pig are butchered and the meat are cooked by the ladies. The New Year tradition has continued in the United States, though some of them have changed.
The story of the traditional farmers who celebrate the good harvest after a fairly long and hard work is no longer applicable for this community. A variety of career options among the Hmong population has made them take up different professions. The popularity of handmade craft and ethnic product still attracts a unique crowd to every tournament and festival. Buble tea is the drink, and tropical fruit vendors barely get any time to rest such is the demand of their fares during this time of the celebrations. This festival is deeply rooted in Hmong culture and background. It is a time for them to perform their best. They cook their favorite dishes, wear best clothes, take a break from their work, and resist themselves from criticizing others. This festival discovers traditional music, hand crafted ‘khaen’ made of bamboo pipes, and a participation in gambling. They are one of the most distinguished racial groups in Laos. Hmong oral literature describes an orphan who overcomes harassment through hard work and subsequently becomes a leader. If an older woman dressed up in traditional outfit it is understood that she have no longer got a husband. Thus it is an extremely interesting New Year celebration which occurs by the Hmong tribes.