Tet, a number of villages in northern and central Vietnam 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.
summertime, groups of children often play with tops along Hanoi’s
streets and alleys. Their enthusiasm and happy laughter attract an
audience, old and young, and remind older viewers of their younger days.
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.
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.
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.
ethnic group in Vietnam 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.
long with other traditional festival games, releasing pigeons has
attracted numerous participants since the distant past. Some villages
including Tam Giang and Hoan Son villages in Bac Ninh Province still
maintain the tradition.
chess” (co nguoi) is a popular game at village and temple festival. The
game follows the general rules of Chinese chess. The concept is
recognizably similar to Western chess, but with a different-sized board
and different pieces, including cannons and guards, each of them marked
with a distinct Chinese character.
is a girls’ chanting game. Several girls sit side by side with their
legs stretched out. The head of the game recites a song; at each word,
she uses her hand to touch another girl’s leg or foot.
have been traditional game at village festivals for centuries. A
Complete History of Dai Viet (Dai Viet su ky toan thu) states: "In the
Ly Dynasty, in spring or the first lunar month, boys and girls get
together and play this game".
across Vietnam play various forms of tug of war (keo co). The game is
always symbolically linked to the seasons, weather and crops. Tug of war
is a popular game for both children and adults since it requires no
particular skill or training.
a beautiful spring day in Nam Dinh, a light breeze blows over the
multicoloured traditional flags planted at the four corners of the arena
where the finalists of the National Wrestling Championship are about to
rhythmic sound of a drum echoes for kilometers-vibrating, pressing,
increasing in urgency. Any spectators arriving late from neighbouring
villages hasten along their way. The crowd grows larger and larger
around a flat piece of empty space in front of the village pagoda.
between ages six and 15 enjoy playing bit mat bat de (“catching a goat
while blindfolded”). One participant volunteers to play the “goat” and
another, the “goat catcher”. Other players form a circle around the
boys and girls play the game of keo cua lua xe. Two children sit
opposite each other, holding each other’s hands tightly. While reciting a
song, they push and pull each other’s arms and pretend as if they are
sawing a piece of wood between them.
game of vieing for ball is a ritual in some festivals or a custom in
others. Its names and rules can be different from locality to locality.
It is an activity wishing for bumper crops of the peasants.
time immemorial, boat racing has appeared in Vietnam. It is not only a
competition but also a ritual in honour of the Water God, stemming from
the act of praying for water among agricluture-based people.