Witness a traditional ritual at the Le Mat Snake Festival in Hanoi - AsiaRooms.com

March 27, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
AsiaRooms.com reports anyone who is staying in accommodation in Hanoi at the beginning of May should consider attending the Le Mat Snake Festival in the Gia Lam district of the city.

The annual event is held according to the lunar calendar and this year it falls on May 6th.

Much of the early part of the day is taken up with processions by locals, including the first of the day's events, which sees 13 representatives from the camps to the west of the ancient capital Thang Long bearing a tray of food each above their heads, which they carry to the village.

Other parades are devoted to water and carp and all end at the Thanh Communal House.

The main event from which the festival takes its name is the snake dance, which is performed in the yard outside the communal house.

Using a creature made of bamboo and bound with cloth, the dancer puts on a lively display to the beat of the drums.

According to Threeland Travel, the festival is held each year to remind the locals of the achievements of their ancestors who brought agriculture to the village.

Travellers who do not mind trying something a little unusual may want to sample the local snake wine, which is offered to guests during the ritual.

The alcoholic drink is made by soaking the bodies of the snakes in rice wine and leaving it to ferment for a few weeks.