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Jun 10, 2024 / 18:51

Vivacious celebration of Tet Doan Ngo in Hanoi

Since the time of transition from spring to summer has come with a climate conducive to the proliferation of insects and diseases, it is significant to hold Tet Doan Ngo to help people stay healthy.

Tet Doan Ngo, or "Bug Killing Festival", is a traditional mid-year festival observed in Vietnam and several East Asian countries on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month.

The event falls today (June 10) which marks the beginning of the hottest days of the year. To combat the heat and prevent epidemics, Vietnamese ancestors passed down unique customs, such as eating and drinking certain foods early in the morning, picking medicinal herbs and making tea at noon, or wearing five-colored threads and perfumed medicine bags, which they believed would ward off insects. Typical things are all eaten with the expectation of getting rid of all insects that harm the crops and germs from inside the human digestive system. 

On this day, people become busier. Housewives are busy getting up early in the morning to prepare the offerings for Tet Doan Ngo, one of the most important traditional festivals in Vietnam, to worship their ancestors and the deceased. They also offer prayers for everyone in the family to be well and happy.

Vietnamese people can use this as an opportunity to teach the next generation about the country's cultural customs and to introduce foreign tourists to their distinctive way of life.

 Tet Doan Ngo worship tray includes fresh seasonal fruits, ruou nep (fermented steamed glutinous rice), banh tro (glutinous rice cake cooked with mistletoe ash). Photo: Ha Le
 From early morning, merchants on Hang Be Street, a famous market in Hanoi's Old Quarter specializing in Hanoi specialties trading, are busy preparing goods. Photo: Nhan Dan Newspaper
 Fresh fruits for sale at Hang Be Street. Photo: Nhan Dan Newspaper
 This offering tray is prepared by a Hanoi housewife. Photo: Chuyen cua Hanoi Group
 A Tet Doan Ngo ancestor offering tray by Hanoians usually contains typical dishes such as banh com (young sticky rice cake with green bean stuffing), xoi com (young sticky rice with lotus seeds), banh tro, and ruou nep, decorated with lotus flowers from West Lake. Photo: Thu Giang
 These days, visitors to Thang Long Imperial Citadel have the chance to take part in the cultural program highlighting Tet Doan Ngo. Photo: Huy Pham/The Hanoi Times
 The program offers tourists and international friends interesting experiences of unique rituals and customs observed on Tet Doan Ngo, as well as the value of Vietnamese royal culture. Photo: Huy Pham/The Hanoi Times
 Participants taste typical fruits and foods believed to help dispel summer diseases. Photo: Huy Pham/The Hanoi Times