Holidays and ceremonies in Vietnam

Holidays and ceremonies in Vietnam: With an ancient culture, Vietnam has many festivals and ceremonies throughout the year, depending on the region and ethnic groups.

If the New Year’s Day is a family event, the National Day: September 2 is a celebration of the country.

Each feats or holiday is accompanied by a different ceremony. The holidays are proof for the presence and vitality of religions and beliefs of the Vietnamese people.

Here are some important holidays in Vietnam:

Tet or Lunar New Year: This is the biggest and the most sacred of the country.  It is celebrated across from north to south. And it is above all, a family celebration within 7 days.

Tet is a word derived from Tiet, meaning: season in Vietnamese language. This is a celebration of agricultural origin. This is the time of rest between rice crops and gradually, it has grown to be a family celebration of all the country’s inhabitants, mostly farmers. Everyone goes home to be with the family. Everyone stops to work to join the big family. Railway stations, airports… are crowded.

So, many things to prepare:

Decorating the house, preparing special meals of each region, as well as presents and new clothes for the children of the family, clean the ancestral altar, supplying food and offerings for ceremonies, buying flowers…

30 April: Day of the country reunification: The Dien Bien Phu Battle ended the French Indochina War in 1954. The Geneva agreement signed between Vietnam and France prevented the reunification of the country that has been cut into parts by the Potsdam meeting in 1945.

But the U.S. military has intervened in Vietnam to continue to cut the country into parts up 30 April 1975 that the country was unified after a terrible war.

The Feast of the Mid January in Lunar calendar: This festival is to complete the Lunar New Year celebration. Each family makes a copious meal to invite ancestors. Men of the same lineage meet each other to venerate the lineage creator.

The rites of the 15th and the first day of each lunar month: According to the Buddhism sutras and folk knowledge of Vietnam, the first and 15th days in each month are special days. The adequate explanation of these beliefs is rare. Meanwhile, this rite of those days is still highly respected. During these days, the temples and pagodas are filled with offerings where people pray for health, happiness and prosperity. At home, people prepare fruit, incense… to offer to ancestors on their altar.

The feast day for wandering souls: Mid July of Lunar calendar: It is a commemoration of ancestors, relatives and wandering souls. The copious meal is prepared to offer to ancestors and to wandering souls without descendant.

Children Day: First day of June – Solar calendar: It is the festival for children. Adults buy gifts for them. Some parents take them to the zoo, beaches…

The Lunar mid – Autumn: This festival is celebrated for children but adults also participate in the festivities. Children sing, dance and make a parade of lanterns in the shape of the moon, stars or animals. Activities take place during the day. Children eat fruits and cakes which were prepared especially for them.

National Day: 2 – September: The France colonized Vietnam from 1884 to 1941. In 1941, the Japanese came. In 1945, taking advantage of the defeat of the Nazis, Ho Chi Minh declared the independence of the country on 2 September.

Each profession has its own day: Day of teachers: 20 November, the military: 22 December, students: January 9…

Each region, each village has its own day for the festival to venerate the village creator…

Women celebrate International Day of Women: March 8…

Religious people have their holidays: Ramadan, Christmas…

Now, life improves with strong open to the outside world, young non – Catholics celebrate also Christmas Day, Solar New Year, Valentines Saint…