It can be said that Sapa is one of the most attractive tourist sites in Vietnam tour packages. On Sapa, travelers are not only allured by the breath-taking sceneries but also astonished by the various types of markets that reveal a lot about Sapa people’s culture, customs, and beliefs. And one of the most famous destinations is Sapa Love Market where most local recreational activities happen.
Sapa Love Market Location
Sapa Love Market has been unique in the culture of Northern Vietnam. It is always held every Saturday evening in a large square in front of the town’s church. The square is organized similar to an arena, high outside and low inside; therefore you can either stand outside to have a wide view of the activities below or just go down and integrate yourselves with local people.
Sapa fair always begins every Sunday morning, but the people there, especially the Dao ethnic group, will come in the previous evening to organize some entertaining activities to relax after hard-working days. At first, only the Dao did that, but gradually, other ethnic groups such as Hmong people also learned it from the Dao. And after a period of time, this becomes a regular activity of people here to come on Saturday evening to play and communicate with others. Because most people arriving the place are teenagers who are in the married ages, their purpose, apart from entertaining, is to make friends with others, those with opposite genders in particular. Many married couples meet each other in this place. Therefore, people piecemeal call it Love Market.
What to Do & See at Sapa Love Market
During the fair, adolescents from all over the town gather here to set up a number of interesting recreations such as tugging, leaf whistling, singing and dancing to show off, communicate and get to know other people. Besides, it is common to catch people coming here to barter and purchase goods such as bags and clothes made of brocade fabric or silver jewelry.
Cultures & Costumes of Sapa Love Market
Every traditional event or activity represents a culture and custom, so does Sapa Love Market. In Love Market, you can always catch boys and girls wearing their traditional dress and dancing their traditional dances. Especially here, it is girls that actively find their lovers according to H’Mong traditions. During the fair, boys will whistle their leaf, if a girl is attracted by a boy, she will come closer to the boy and if she really fancies that boy, the boy will lead the girl to another quiet place to chat with each other.
Another strange custom of H’Mong people is that after marrying, in a Love fair, the wives will come here with their husbands. The husbands will join other men, whistle leaf (only allowed melodies for men who have wives), and drink wine and the wives will join other women and dance and sing (also only allowed songs and dances). The wives will pour the wine for their husbands and encourage them to drink as much as possible to indicate that men have a wide relationship.
For those who haven’t had husbands, the girls will tie a brocade bracelet on others to show that they want to be those people’s familiars or on their fond boys to imply that she loves him and remind him not to love someone else. These bracelets also have a spiritual meaning they can protect the owners from ghosts.
Why Should You Visit Sapa Love Market
Sapa Love Market is the place where all traditions, customs, and beliefs of Dao, H’Mong, and other ethnic groups are presented. It is where you can join with their activities and feel the unique features in their traditions by yourselves, not just watch and listen to it from tour guides. And it is where you can approach the friendliest, the plainest, and the most hospitable local people. Take wonderful Sapa day trips now to experience this special and interesting market.