In Vietnam, it is undeniable that there is a wide range of meaningful and beautiful holidays that most of the Vietnamese people are strongly proud of and have endless respects to the physical and spiritual values they bring about. Noticeably, the most outstanding Vietnamese holidays are Mid-Autumn festival, Hung Kings Commemoration Day and Tet Nguyen Dan
Mid-Autumn festival is held on the 15th day of the eight lunar months. On this day, the adults and the parents prepare many different foods such as moon cakes, candies, biscuits, jellies, and fruit. Interestingly, in Vietnam, because of many wonderful and interesting activities on this day, Mid-autumn festival is considered as one of the happiest days for children.
More specifically, in the evening, not only do children gather together and parade on the streets but they also sing and carry colorful lanterns of different sizes. Some of the popular shapes that the kids are fond of include fishes, stars, butterflies. Moreover, the lanterns become much more beautiful and glorious when candles are inserted inside representing the earth circling the sun. Children are also provided with diverse funny masks such as clown mask, the lion mask, prince or princess mask for the special performance such as dragon dancing in the evening of the full moon. Additionally, the Mid-Autumn celebration is an opportunity for members of the family to visit together and share the happiness of the night. One of the greatest moments in the night is that family members enjoy boxes of delicious moon cakes and talk happily with each other. The cakes are filled with lotus seeds, ground beans and orange peels and a bright yoke in the center of the cake.
Hung Kings Commemoration Day
Hung Kings Commemoration Day or also called Hung Kings Temple Festival is celebrated from the 8th to the 11th days of the third lunar month each year. The purpose of this day is to honor the Hung Kings who founded the country as the first emperor of the nation. People can attend the main ceremony taking place at the Hung Temple on Nghia Linh Mountain in Phu Tho Province where they can express their respectful gratitude to the great contributions of Hung kings in building the country.
Every year is the same because people from all corners of the country and even from overseas gather at Hung King Temple to participate in solemn ceremonies. They provide additional offerings of incense, food and take part in the colorful parade. Besides, Death anniversary of the Hung Kings also consists of several cheerful activities like performances of Cheo singing, Quan Ho singing, Xoan singing as well as games of chess playing, rice cooking , chicken kicking. As a result, the death anniversary of the Hung Kings is a valuable opportunity for Vietnamese at home and abroad to strengthen the country’s long-lasting tradition of gratitude, patriotism as well as to enhance national solidarity.
Tet Nguyen Dan
Tet Nguyen Dan or Vietnam Lunar New Year festival is viewed as the biggest and most popular festival of the year in Vietnam which is celebrated on the first day of the first month in Lunar Calendar.
Tet’s celebration is the longest holiday which may last up to ten days. According to Vietnamese’s religious beliefs, Vietnamese will make a careful preparation in advance of the upcoming New Year. These foods prepared carefully include bánh chưng, bánh dày, dry young bamboo soup (Canh Măng), giò, and sticky rice. With the intention of getting rid of the bad luck of the old year, people will clean their homes or even repaint and decorate the house with kumquat tree, peach blossoms, and many other colorful flowers. On the New Year’s Day, the first ones who come to visit households are vital and need to be well chosen since they are believed to hold in their hands the entire luck of the family in the New Year. After that, till the third day or even the fourth day of Tet, people meet relatives, friends,colleagues in order to wish them all kinds of good things like happiness, health,success. Moreover, they give children lucky money covered in pretty little red envelopes. It is common that they visit pagodas to pray for a good start, luck, health, success in the coming year. Tet has a very special attached meaning to all Vietnamese people because it is the time for everybody to come back to their hometown, gather with family, visit relatives and have a good relaxing time after a hard-working year
In conclusion, Mid-Autumn festival, Hung Kings Commemoration Day and Tet Nguyen Dan are three essential holidays in Vietnam. In spite of the fact that each holiday has its own special and wonderful meanings which are irreplaceable in Vietnamese people’s beliefs and religions, they should be highly appreciated and inherited by the young generation who is always encouraged to maintain and develop the most precious values our ancestors have created so far.