The Red Dao dependent on agriculture and nature for their livelihood, and observe the Killing Insect Rite on one day in the 2nd or the 3rd lunar month.
Trieu Thi Tiep in Phuc Loi commune says on that day they roast grains, such as maize, rice, bean, peanut, and sesame, and seeds of fruits to kill insect eggs.
“The rite has been practiced for generations. We wake up earlier than normal, collect all kinds of grains we have, and roast them. It’s a symbolic rite to kill insect eggs,” Tiep said.
The Dao then eat the roasted seeds or throw them on the garden and field to get rid of insects. While doing so, they say: “today is an Insect Killing Day, we roasted all seeds to expel insects so they cannot harm our plants.”
After the rite, they have breakfast and go to the field to work as normal. Thieu Thi Sinh in Lung Ha hamlet said, “On this day we don’t have taboos like during the worship of the Thunder and Wind deities and tiger. On Kỉng ceng che day, we work in the field as normal after observing the insect killing rite.”
The Red Dao in Yen Bai have applied scientific knowledge to farm work to prevent insects and increase productivity and quality. But they continue to observe the custom to remind their children of old farming practices.