Le Mat Village lies in Viet Hung Commune, Gia Lam District, Hanoi. The Le Mat Village Festival is held annually on the 23rd of the third lunar month. This year, the festival begins on April 25th. Early in the morning, participants carry 13 trays of food from the capital to Le Mat Village.
The festival starts with a water and carp procession. The fish are brought to the Thanh Communal House in a ritual to remind the present generation how agriculture was introduced to the village and how land was cleared. A snake act follows in the yard of the communal house. The “snake” (made of bamboo and cloth) symbolizes a water monster imbued with a willful youthful spirit. Haunting music and drumming accompanies this act.
The Le Mat Village Festival teaches children the story of how wild land was cleared and how the village was settled. During the festival, villagers express their gratitude to their brave ancestors.
People from Le Mat are known for their talent for catching snakes. While attending the Le Mat Village Festival, guests are offered a cup of snake wine made with the blood from three or five snakes.