Love Market in Sapa - Where The Love Begins
If you plan to visit Sapa, try to stay on weekends so you would have the opportunity to visit the love market which takes place every Saturday evening. The love market in Sapa used to be the place where ethnic people find their partners to get married. Watching the activities in the market, visitors will understand more about the culture and enjoy the life of H’Mong and Red Dao ethnic minorities.
The history of the love market
Long time ago, the ethnic people usually came to the market which was held on Sunday mornings for trading. They would bring all the stuff which were mostly hand-made to the market to sell and then buy other necessary items for their daily life. As the ethnic minorities lived in villages located in remote areas of Sapa, they had to travel long distances to get to the market. Therefore, they always left the villages early on Saturday and arrived in the evening to get some rest.
Ethnic People Sing And Dance At The Love Market
However, young people did not want to rest, they would love to get to know other people by taking part in activities such as singing and dancing, playing traditional games and leaf-horns, etc. All the performances were full of romantic actions and melodies which express wishes for eternal love. Girls sang songs with romantic melodies hidden in the dark and boys would try to find them. Who was lucky enough to find their match after that night, they would make a promise to date on the next market or some couples disappeared into the forest for three days. Many of the couples became husbands and wives after a while. That’s why Saturday nights was called the love market.
For the people who could not find their soulmates, they could look for another chance in the next markets. Everyone left the market with good experiences and memories of the fun night. The love market was not the place that you can sell or buy love. This was the love heaven where you had a chance to express your feelings and affection to a significant other which is a beautiful culture of the ethnic minorities in Sapa. Today, with a lot of tourists, the real love market does not exist anymore, however, you can still see the representation of the love market when you stay here on Saturday night.
The activities at the Sapa Love Market
On Saturday afternoon, you can see a lot of ethnic girls dressing up in their colorful hill-tribe costumes. They also wear special accessories such as silver ornaments and little bells to add a festive atmosphere. The guys would dress up in their traditional clothes as well, holding a small radio blaring cheerful songs in their hands.
The guys and the girls would look for the partners in the outfits which have the same colors as them, they would then stand in groups, singing their traditional songs and performing their traditional dances until the night comes. Visiting the love market today, you may still see some young locals singing in the dark, but it is not because they are looking for a partner, they are looking for tourists who will be asked for a tip after they sing a song for them.
Girls Dress Up In Their Hill Tribe Costumes
As Sapa is a popular tourist attraction, the Sapa love market gets more attention from both ethnic people and tourists. Today, the market is held at the Tourist Information and Promotion Center. There are many activities of H’Mong and Red Dao people organized on the campus. Not only can you see the singing and dancing, but also other activities such as wife kidnapping, blowing leaves, etc. The market is not just for marriage purposes, it is also the place where people meet their old friends and make new ones. No matter how old they are, how different they look, everyone is happy to chat with each other with their smiles on.
Visiting the place, visitors can experience the culture and feel the spirit of ethnic minority people. There are some other love markets in the mountainous towns such as the Khau Vai love market in Ha Giang, or the Moc Chau love market in Son La. However, these markets are held once a year so it is difficult for tourists to get a chance to see them. In addition to that, the love market in Sapa is said to be the oldest one and it also takes place more frequently-every Saturday evening. Therefore, as long as you visit Sapa on the weekends, you will have the opportunity to see all the interesting activities at the market.
The love market in Sapa reflects the traditional culture of ethnic minorities in this mountainous town. This is an event that can’t be missed when you visit this place.
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(Image source: Internet)