Formation and meaning of traditional festivals
festivals constitute a form of cultural activities, a spiritual product
which the people have created and developed during the course of
history. From generation to generation, the Vietnamese people preserve
the fine tradition of “remembering the source while drinking water.”
Festivals are events which represent this tradition of the community as
well as honour the holy figures named as “gods” – the real persons in
national history or legendary persons. The images of gods converge the
noble characteristics of mankind. They are national heroes who fought
against foreign invaders, reclaimed new lands, treated people, fought
against natural calamities, or those legendary characters who affect the
earthly life. Festivals are events when people pay tribute to
divinities that rendered merits to the community and the nation.
Festivals are occasions when people come back to either their natural or national roots, which form a sacred part in their mind.
represent the strength of the commune or village, the local region or
even the whole nation. Worshipping the same god, the people unite in
solidarity to overcome difficulties, striving for a happy and wealthy
display the demand for creativity and enjoyment of spiritual and
material cultural values of all social strata. Festivals become a form
of education under which fine traditional moral values can be handed
from one generation to the next in a unique way of combining spiritual
characters with competition and entertainment games.
are also the time people can express their sadness and worries in a
wish that gods might bestow favour on them to help them strive for a
Process of festivals
Generally speaking, every festival will include the following three steps:
The preparation work is divided into two phases: prior to the coming
festive season and in the immediate time before the festive day. The
preparation work for the coming festive season starts right after the
previous festival comes to an end. When it is coming to the festive day,
people need to check the worshipping objects, attires, decoration, and
cleaning of the worshipping place and statues.
The festive day:
Many activities take place, including rituals of procession, incense
offering, and rejoicing games, among others. They form the most
important and significant part of any festival. These activities also
play a decisive role in attracting tourists and deciding the timing of
the festival itself.
The ending of the festival: The organization board expresses their thanks to all festival goers and closes the worshipping place.
Time for festivalsIn Vietnam
festivals often take place during the three months in spring and in
autumn when people have a lot of leisure time. In addition, the climate
in spring and autumn is especially suitable for holding festivals and
for festivals goers to enjoy.