In a small village in the isolated Khau Vai commune of Vietnam, there is a different type of market. Instead of goods, this meeting place offers the opportunity to reunite with lost loves.
The ‘Khau Vai Love Market’ takes place on the 26th and 27th of the third month of the lunar calendar.
The enduring legend behind the wistful event is the stuff of fairy tales and tells the story of an ethnic Giay girl who fell in love with an Nung boy from a neighbouring province.
Apparently, the girl was so beautiful that her tribe rejected her wish to marry an outsider and a bloody conflict between the two communities ensued. The couple, not wanting to see any more bloodshed over their alignment, chose to separate, making a secret arrangement to meet for one day – every year.
Now, that day is celebrated with the tradition of reuniting with past loves every year.
Due to cultural reasons, the ex-loves that come together every year, were often couples who were unable to marry for one reason or another. Couples from around the province use the market as a way to relive past memories and happy moments.
Although its significance may have decreased in recent years, due to advancements in technology and communication pathways, the popularity has increased due to the new roads that make the village itself more accessible.
Now, tourists flock to sample the local cuisine and watch renditions of the original story acted out.
Would you like the opportunity to reunite with a past love every year?