Gia Rai ethnic people in Kon Tum province hold their annual rain praying ceremony in April or May with the hope for a happy and prosperous year with bumper crops. The ceremony has become a special cultural feature of Gia Rai people.  

 Rain praying ceremony is an important ritual of the Gia Rai ethnic people in particular and of people of other ethnic minority groups in the Central Highland as well.  Meat, chicken and wine jar are indispensable in the ceremony.
The ritual is normally held near a stream. On the day, people clean up the location and erect a Neu tree. Then, elderly people in the village choose a strong man to be tied together with a rooster as the offer to the God of rains.
While village patriarch is chanting a prayer to the god of the rain, the ceremony participants are splashing water onto the offered rooster and the chosen man.
As the water splashing ritual ends, locals come back to the communal house to attend a ritual of giving thanks to the god chaired by village patriarch. Offerings, such as wine, chicken liver and pig blood are prepared.
After the ritual, youths in the village together enjoy the sacred wine and food given by the God.
Then, people of all ages gather in the yard in front of the communal house to sing and dance.
Another Neu tree and a wine jar are put in the centre of the yard for the participants to drink.
Gia Rai ethnic boys and girls perform traditional dances and play gong with respect.
All the people passionately sing and dance.
Rain praying ceremony is held annually on March or May to wish for favourable weather and water for crops and good health for people.
The event ends with a gong performance and traditional dances. People cheer and sing until the sunset.

Source: Vnexpress

Translated by Trung Thanh