Calendar of Festivals and Culture
The lifestyle of the Thai hilltribes is based on a cycle of three seasons: winter, the dry season and the rainy season. The following are the highlights of the Akha and Lahu calendars.
|Picking up leaves to repair the houses.||Red Egg New Year: This is a celebration of the New Year for the children. Eggs are boiled in herbs to dye them to a red colour.||Picking up leaves to repair the houses.|
|February||Cutting leaves to repair the roofs or building new houses.||Cutting leaves to repair the roofs or building new houses.||“War” New Year. This is a celebration held after the harvest. The purpose is to give fertility to the soil.|
|March||Picking up grass to make brooms.||Picking up grass to make brooms.|
|April||Preparing the soil to plant rice by cutting or burning the grass.
Digging ditches around the village so that the fires will not burn their houses.
|Preparing the soil to plant rice by cutting or burning the grass. Digging ditches around the village so that the fires will not burn their houses.||Construction of a hut at the entrance of the village. Celebration of joy and fertility. Sand is piled up in a mound and flags are placed on it.|
|May||Planting corn, ginger and dig the soil to plant fruit trees.||Celebration for the pond. Every Akha village has a pond that provides water. During this ceremony, the water is blessed and used for the celebration||Planting corn, ginger and dig the soil to plant fruit trees.|
|June||Planting rice and vegetables.||During the rainy season, a ceremony is held before planting. This is to celebrate fertility.||Planting rice and vegetables.|
|July||Picking up bamboo shoots.||Picking up bamboo shoots.||Application of the Lahu rules. This is normally held for a period of three months but, in modern times, is now practiced for three days.|
|August||Looking for worms in bamboo plants to eventually cook them.||Swing New Year. This is the celebration of the New Year for the women and girls. After the plantation season, the women are free.||Looking for worms in bamboo plants to eventually cook them.|
|September||Harvesting the rice.||Application of the Akha rules. This is normally held for a period of three months but, in modern times, is now practiced for three days.||Looking for worms in bamboo plants and shoots to eventually cook them.|
|October||Harvesting the rice.||Bamboo Knife Ceremony. This ceremony is held to chase away ghosts.||Harvesting the rice.||Celebration of the ending of the application of Lahu rules. This is the time of year to eat the new Lahu rice.|
|November||Harvesting the rice.||This is the time of year to eat the new Akha rice.||Harvesting the rice.|
|December||Resting after harvesting the rice and sewing.||Top New Year. This is the celebration of the New Year for the men and boys. During this celebration, the men play with the top.||Resting after harvesting the rice and sewing|