Vietnam Ancestors Death Anniversary

Vietnam Ancestors Death Anniversary

10th day of the third lunar month (April)
Traditionally, Vietnamese families will remember the death of an ancestor on the anniversary of his or her death. Family members gather for the festive occasion to enjoy a banquet. It is customary to include at least one member of each generation of the family, even if this involves traveling a great distance. Foods include personal favorites of the deceased as well as chicken, a prized meat in Vietnam. In central Vietnam, it is customary to make stuffed rice flour balls. Special anniversary desserts are also prepared, desserts which are made only during this event. Because of the time and effort involved, wealthier families often hire caterers to prepare the food.
The deceased ancestor is thought to return for a visit on this day. He or she is ritually greeted at the beginning of the occasion. In addition to the banquet, offerings are made on the family altar and incense sticks are burned in honor the ancestor as well as the cong, or "God of the Home." The Thanh hoang, or "God of the Village," is also honored.
Until recently, the Ancestors Death Anniversary was observed only on the actual day of the death. But the Vietnamese government standardized the celebration to an annual observance to be held on the 10th day of the third lunar month, which occurs in April.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
1233 20th St. N.W., Ste. 400
Washington, D.C. 20036
202-861-0737; fax: 202-861-0917
www.vietnamembassy-usa.org
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