Offerings in the rite of San Chí people, Định Hóa district, Thái Nguyên province (photo by Phạm Thị Thủy Chung)

Rituals of Cầu mùa (Praying for a Fertile Crop) in Vietnam: Similarity in Concept and Diversity in Practice

Chung Thuy Thi Pham


Similar to many Southeast Asian cultures, Vietnam has drawn its cultural identity from agriculture, particularly the rice culture. The rituals of Cầu mùa (Praying for a Fertile Crop) are present in the cultures of most of the peoples residing in Vietnam, from the highlands in the central area to the northern mountains. In Vietnam, the rituals of Cầu mùa are usually held in spring, the season for breaking ground and sowing, when farmers have a common wish for a fertile and bumper crop. However, ritual practice varies due to the diversity of environmental conditions, customs and the experiences of different communities. This article is a study of the similarity in concept and diversity in practice of the Cầu mùa rituals in Vietnam.

This paper was presented at the Spiritual Dimensions of Rice Culture in Southeast Asia: Seminar, Rituals and Performances, organized by SEAMEO SPAFA on 11-14 May 2015 at Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand. It is part of an upcoming collected edition of papers presented at the seminar.


ritual, rice culture, agriculture, fertility beliefs, animism, water worship

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