Email | Feedback | Contact | Sitemap
General InformationOverviewHistoryPeopleReligion & BeliefCultureCustoms & HabitsLanguage and LiteratureFestivals & Folk-gamesArt performanceCostumesArchitecture & Fine-artsFood, Flowers, FruitsMarketsAdministration Units
Overview of traditional festivals
Festive activities are living museums in which typical cultural values of the nation have been preserved for centuries.
Festival rituals
Festivals require many compulsory rituals, which are carried out in a strict order from the preparation to the ending of a festival. In general, a festival has the following rituals:
Rice cooking competitions (thi thoi com)
During Tet, a number of villages in northern and central Viet Nam hold cooking contests that may sound simple, but follow strict and complex rules: Cooking in the wind and rain. Tu Trong Village, Thanh Hoa Province has a temple dedicated to the 11th century warrior Le Phung Hieu.
Spinning Tops (con quay)
In summertime, groups of children often play with tops along Ha Noi’s streets and alleys. Their enthusiasm and happy laughter attract an audience, old and young, and remind older viewers of their younger days. The folk pastime of top spinning still charms city children despite the popularity of modern games such as bowling, skateboarding, billiards and video games.
Bamboo Jacks (choi chuyen)
This girls' game (chơi chuyen) includes ten thin, well-sharpened, round bamboo sticks and a ball, which traditionally is a fig, a miniature variety of eggplant, a small rock or a clod of clay.
Kites that make music (dieu sao)
Kite flying is popular throughout the year in Viet Nam but especially so in summer. People of different ages make kites of many shapes, sizes and materials.
The game of squares (O an quan)
Either boys or girls, usually age's seven to ten, play the two-person game of O an quan (literally "Mandarin's Box"). They draw a rectangle on the ground and divide it into ten small squares called "rice fields" or "fish ponds.
Cat and Mouse Game (meo duoi chuot)
Each game requires between seven and ten people. They stand in a circle, hold hands and raise their hands above their heads. Then they start singing the song.
The Game of the Dragon-Snake (rong ran)
A large group plays the children's game rong ran (dragon-snake). In One person sits on a small hill or some location above the other players; he or she acts as the doctor. The other children stand in a line, holding each other's belts to form the body of the dragon-snake.
Throwing a sacred ball through the ring (nem con)
Each ethnic group in Viet Nam has unique ways of celebrating Tet. The Tay people of Cao Bang and Lang Son Provinces have a special Tet game that not only ushers in the spring but also serves as a matchmaker.