Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year)
1st - 7th January, 2000
This biggest festival celebrated by all Vietnamese falls on the
first day of the lunar year and lasts for an entire week. It is
a family-oriented celebration where every family member get together
to offer each other wishes for health and happiness and also forgive
one another. Also not forgetting their late relatives, incense are
lighted for them.
Dong Da Festival
Dong Da, Hanoi, 5th January, 2000
This annual event celebrates the triumphant historical victory of
King Quang Trung (Nguyen Hue) against the invaders of the Vietnamese
nation. There is a procession, and a recount of the war, including
a fire dragon which is decorated with straw, cataphyll, and coarse
paper. The "Thang Long Fire Dragon" has become a symbol of victory
for the Vietnamese nation. Other activities are games and competitions
that challenge the skills and intelligence of participants.
Co Loa Festival
An Duong Vuong, Hanoi City, 6th-16th January, 2000
On the 6th day of Tet, the literature procession is preceded by
a flag that symbolizes the 5 elements (metal, wood, water, fire
and earth), a musical company, and a sacrifice.
The Literature Stand set at the Imperial Court's Sedan Chair is
shaded by a parasol. In the courtyard, one can see many colorful
festival flags and Dai Flags (great ones) fluttering in the wind.On
either side of the temple gates are a couple of red horses and white
horses with colorful saddles.
Preceded by the literature procession is a sacrificial ceremony
that lasts until 12 PM. After this ceremony, there is the god procession
of 12 villages. Besides these processions, there are many activities
such as swinging, rice cooking, singing Vietnamese popular opera
and other events.
On the 16th day of the first lunar month, the festival is closed
with a thanksgiving ceremony.
Cau Ngu Festival
Huong Hai Commune of Huong Dien District, 12th January,
This traditional festival is organized in memory of the village
tutelary genie Truong Quy Cong. His alias is Truong Thieu, and he
was a native of the North who came to the village to settle, teach
the locals how to fish, and trade junks.
On the eve of the festival, the entire village begins making offerings.
Both parts of the village, the upper and lower parts,worship to
Truong Quy Cong. Late at night, the "fish worshipping ceremony "
occurs, where people pray for peace and the future abundance of
fish. Every three years, games representing sea fishing activities
are organized such as the "fish catching" game and "net-casting"
game. After these games, people tend to go watch the rowing skiffs.
The "net-casting" performance is a form of entertainment which is
characterized by rituals to commemorate the merits of the village
Quang Nam, Da Nang, March, 2000
The Whale Festival has been, for centuries, the biggest water festival
of the fishermen in Quang Nam, Da Nang province. The worshipping
of the whale is not only about paying respect to their God, but
also about ensuring prosperity for the villagers. This festival
last for two days from the middle of the 3rd month of the lunar
calendar. On this occasion, the whale temple, as well as all the
houses and boats, are beautifully decorated. The peace offering
is conducted in the first evening at the whale temple by village
elders. Offerings do not contain sea foods and are given while the
oration is read out. The ceremony is held to respect the Whale God
and to pray for the safety and propriety of the village.
At dawn the following day, there will be a procession of boats on
the sea in a set formation. This procession displays the fishermens'
sincerity to their Whale God. By midnight, the official ceremony
is conducted as school children offer incense and the orchestra
plays a classical opera. All the fishing boats and villagers, no
matter where they are, will return to take part in the Whale Festival.
Vietnamese All Souls' Day
15th July, 2000
This day is spent in the pagodas praying. This is the time for the
Buddhists to forgive the lost souls, to fulfill filial duty, and
to remember the dead. Votive paper, as well as shoes and dresses
made of paper are burned as an offering to the dead.
Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival
Do Son, Haiphong, 9th August, 2000
Saint Chu Dong Tu was one of the "four immortal heroes" at the centre
of Vietnamese society. A cultural hero and the founder of agriculture
as he had conquered the marsh, and developed agriculture and trade.
After the opening ceremony, to remind people of the legend, life,
and work of Saint Chu Dong Tu and his two wives, there is a procession.
Travelling ahead of the procession are two splendid golden dragons,
controlled by 10 men, dancing gently with the rhythms of the drums.
The procession includes a team of musicians, the Saint's chair,
and couple of jars. The procession moves with about ten sailing
boats to the center of the river to take water in the jars and then
moves back to the temple for a statue washing ceremony.
After the main ceremony, there are different types of activities
conducted such as wrestling, fighting with sticks, Chinese chess
games, lion dances,and other events.