Sa Pa Love Market

Sa Pa Love Market is a cultural feature of the H’s Mong, Dao in the northern mountain provinces of Lao Cai, Ha Giang and Son La. Due to far distances, the markets usually take place once a week on Sunday morning. From the night before the market day(usually on Saturday), young people in the remote villages often go to the market to meet and communicate by playing tug of war, sing love song, etc. After this night many couples became close and make an appointment in the next fair. Some of them got married after that. So the market is called “Love Market”. According to legend, the market’s beginnings date back to the unrequited love between a young boy and girl. They met in Meo Vac. However they were from different tribes, so their love was forbidden. Although they were erupted from their families, they tried to come together.  Feeling unbearable the fact  of not seeing each other again, they decided to meet on the same day every year. Today, the site of the forbidden rendezvous is home to the love market. In the afternoon, tourists can see many women wearing red bandanas with stunning silver ring, silver buttons, and small coins attached on the shoulder shirt. Similarly, the boys dress in Cham costume, the same color towels, and their shoulders wear a radio cassette. In the other corner, some boys gather around beautiful girls, they put these radios near the girls recording the love songs to show their love in ethnic languages. Seeing stranger people, girls are ashamed of bowing or covering her face by hand, but she still sings with shaky tone. Until the girl chose a boy, she gave him an engagement which can be a ring, bracelet or a comb, etc. The girl returned to her friends. Then her friends took her to the boy. The Love Market attracts a lot of visitors each year. It is considered one of the outstanding charms of Sapa.

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