River wharf worshipping custom of Ede

The ritual of river wharf worshipping is held by the Ede villagers at the beginning of each New Year or on significant occasions of the village such as leaving the village and building a new one.

River wharf worshipping is carried out with a hope for fresh water from the god of water. The master of the river wharf is the person who chairs the ceremony, to which all villagers contribute their parts. According to ancient tradition, the ceremony lasts for three days.

River wharf at sunset by Uy Long

On the first day, people clear the roads and repair the river wharf. Participants are divided into two main groups. The first one, along with the wizard, conducts the ritual worship in the middle of the road from the beginning of the village to the river wharf; the second group conducts the ritual worship at the river wharf. The wizard pours alcohol onto water pipes to pray for unceasing sources of water. At the same time, a man dances holding a shield and moves forward and backward three times to chase evil devils away from the river wharf. When the ritual worship is finished, villagers come to the house of the master of the wharf to have talks and drink alcohol.

River wharf at sunset by Le Anh

On the second day, each family carries out the ritual to worship the river wharf at their house. Wizards come to all houses in the village to conduct the ritual. On this day, many ‘no travelling’ signs are made such as: chicken feather strings, cotton yarns, etc. Strangers who want to leave the village have to leave personal objects value or belief that are returned to them when they come back to the village the next day.

River wharf worshipping by Huu Hung

On the last day, the whole village conducts a common ritual worship together. Offerings include a chicken and a jar of alcohol, amongst others. This ritual worship is meant to chase away evil devils and pray for fresh water for villagers. After the ritual worship, signs prohibiting strangers from going around are removed.

During the ritual of worshiping the river wharf, all activities such as farming, hunting, and gathering must be stopped. The Ede’s ritual to worship the river wharf brings more rituality than festivity. However, this is also an occasion for villagers to gather to sing and exchange heart-to-heart talks.

Aggregated by Dang Gia Duan

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