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Society Celebrations in Vietnam

  The Vietnamese festivals fall under two calendars, the solar and lunar.   There are several legal holidays in Vietnam that fall under the solar calendar, among them are New Year's (Jan 1); Founding of the Communist Party (Feb 3); May Day (May 1), Ho Chi Minh's birthday (May 19); Declaration of the Republic, 1945 (Sept 2).

The largest lunar celebration is that of Tet, which occurs in the first month of the lunar calendar.  It is the lunar New Year and usually continues for a week with visits to relatives, temples and friends and ends with sacrifices.  Another celebration is that of the Trung sisters (39-43) during the second lunar month.  It is hosted by all the temples in the country that honor the sisters. The Festival of Cold Meals is celebrated during the third month. 

 This festival can be traced back to the Ly Dynasty, when it was introduced by the Chinese.  Sticky rice balls filled with sugar are eaten on this day instead of warm meals.  A festival that is popular with the children is that of the Moon Festival, held in the 8th lunar month.  There are parades for children, with lanterns, dances and drums that last until the moon is halfway in the sky.  At that time the moon cakes (filled with five fillings - candied egg, lard, beans, pumpkin, lotus seeds) are eaten.  Children are also thrilled with this festival for all the above reasons as well as the fact they are laden with presents.  


 


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