Khau Vai love market is also called Phong Luu market which is located in the Meo Vac district the northernmost province of Ha Giang. The festival is held once a year, on lunar March 26th and 27th with the participation of a large number of locals.
According to legend, Khau Vai love market came after an unhappy ending love story when a young couple from two tribes was in deep love however their love was broken because of difference and hatred between their tribes, the boy and the girl parted however promised to meet again one time a year at Khau Vai peak on the lunar 27th March
Since then, on every lunar March 27th, Khau Vai has attracted couples of different ages, including those who seek partners for the first time. Yet, most of them are those who love each other very much but cannot marry because of different reasons.
From 5pm on the day before market, thousands of people are seen walking and riding horses on their way to market, many of them have to walk overnight to reach the market on time, on their backs are rattan baskets full of fruit, wine, food...the festival of Khau Vai market is long time expecting activity of people not only in the region but also for tourists to Ha Giang.
Khau Vai Fair is an opportunity for ethnic people to come to find love or just simply to meet their past lover. People of all ages are welcomed to the fair: from young men and women, to married people, even elders of many minority groups find their ways on the mountainside to Khau Vai every year on time. On the day when the market session takes place, it is likely that both the wife and her husband together go to the market, but they look for their own partners to share emotions. If one of them has to stay at home, he or she is not jealous because the dating at the marketplace is only a temporary feeling exchange, which has no negative influences on real life.
Khau Vai Love Market Festival is a unique tradition of the northern areas with special and interesting activities. The first day is for the villagers’ ceremony of receiving the great calendar to forecast of rainfall and foresee the crop of that year. This official ceremony is carried out inside the sanctuary where all participants pray for a good yield. Then, young males and females can walk out the pagoda yard and join in fun activities. The second day is devoted for the ceremony of boiling rice and heaping up a sandy mountain for search of happiness and luck. The last ceremony is to wash the Buddha’s statue and Buddhist monks.
This famous festival attracts many local ethnic groups living near and far like Nung, Giay, Mung. Attending the event, tourists have invaluable chances to witness northern mountainous minority’s culture and tradition, including foods and drinks, folk dances performances and games. Also, they can feel experience the power and beauty of love as well as the romance and strong emotions of ex-lovers which is the key factor creating and maintaining this unique market.
The Khau Vai love market has now become a tourist attraction for both domestic and foreign visitors. Coming to the festival, you will have a great chance to enjoy some traditional games and exciting activities, explore Meo Vac night market and try some local specialties. Besides, ethnic costumes, jewelry, and ethnic musical instruments are on display at the market, you can buy some as souvenirs.