Tuesday, 29/08/2023 08:41

Vietnamese place importance in the spirituality Mid seventh lunar month festival

Thu Hà

Mid seventh lunar month, known as rằm tháng 7 or Hungry Ghost Festival, is one of the most important festivals after the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, carrying spirituality of Vietnamese. This year, it will fall on August 30.

Whether rich or poor, every family has been busy preparing things for the holiday, including a tray of fruit, a tray of tasty dishes and a tray of vegetarian foods to worship Buddha, ancestors and wandering spirits of the deceased, according to the circumstances of each family.

A tray to worship ancestors is often of non-vegetarian foods such as sticky rice, boiled chicken, fried spring rolls, minced pork soup topped with mushroom, lean pork paste, square cake or cylindrical sticky rice cake and others delicious foods. — Photo giadinh. suckhoedoisong.vn

The significance of the festival is to express sincerity reverent to God, Buddha and be grateful to deceased grandparents and ancestors for their nurturing care and upbringing.

According to folk beliefs, this is a time to express mercy and pray for wandering souls to be soon freed.

Trịnh Thị Tài, from Hà Nội’s Hai Bà Trưng District, said her family placed great importance to this festival.

“Through the festival, we wanted to express our sincerely reverent to the Budda, and our ancestors,” she said.

A plate of delicious fried cut carrots, peas, maize and other vegetables. — Photo giadinh.suckhoedoisong.vn

The tray to worship Buddha is made up of vegetarian foods. The food includes sticky rice, mushroom spring rolls, vegetable soup, tofu with soy or tomato sauce, boiled vegetables, steamed carrots and lotus roots, said Tài.

She also prepares a tray of fresh fruits such as custard apple, persimmon, gold apple and Buddha’s Hands and a specialty of Autumn such as cốm (or young sticky rice) in addition with lotus flowers and clean water for the worshipping.

Tài said that the tray to worship her ancestors is often of non-vegetarian foods with sticky rice, boiled chicken, fried spring rolls, minced pork soup topped with mushroom, lean pork paste, square cake or cylindrical sticky rice cake and others items.

Persimmon is among the favourite fruits offered during the festival. — Photo nhahangbeca.com

Tài also prepared a tray of fruits with dragon fruit, papaya, orange and apple and a bottle of fresh yellow daisy flowers along with three small cups of traditional wine, three cups of tea and a plate of betel and areca with votive papers for the worshipping.

She also arranged a tray for wandering souls which includes candy, confectionaries, water, popcorns, thin rice gruel, fruits, rice, salt, incense and votive papers. The tray is often placed in front of her house.

According to tradition, the worship is often held before evening falls, she said.

Different from Tài, several of her friends carried out the worship in a pagoda near their homes from the second day of the seventh lunar month.

A prominent feature of a worshipping tray is Buddha's Hands fruit which is believed to bring safety and luck to locals all year round. — Photo giadinh.suckhoedoisong.vn

Nowadays, those people who are too busy or do not have time to make these trays can buy them in traditional markets or order it online at affordable prices.

Vũ Thế Khanh, a spiritual researcher, from the Vietnam Union for Scientific Technology Application, said according to ancient people’s conception, the 15th of the seventh lunar month is the last day of hell’s opening because after that day, deceased people could not receive any things given by prayers.

“That’s why the better time is to make the worship as early as possible. This traditional habit has been handed down from generation to generation until now,” said Khanh. — VNS

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