Doan Ngo Festival

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Doan Ngo Festival has another simple name in Vietnamese: "Tet Giet Sau Bo" (day for killing insects). It's held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in the year. In the opinion of Vietnamese, that's the time of transition from spring to summer and thus, insects and diseases have good condition to develop.

In the early morning, Vietnamese eat some traditional foods which are believed that are effective for killing all insects and diseases in the body. These are fresh fruits, “banh u” (“u” cake), “banh tro” (“tro” cake) and “com ruou”.

At noon (hour of “Ngo”), the householder offers ancestor with a hearty tray of foods and fresh fruits. The house is filled with solemn ambiance of incense scent and prayer. By doing this, he wishes for health for all members of family and harvest as well. Doan Ngo Festival is also an occasion when Vietnamese people can show their gratitude to the others. On that day, son-in-law will prepare some gifts to give his parents-in-law; students also have small present for their teachers; the patients express gratitude to doctors with their products.

It’s also said that the fifth day of the fifth lunar month is the day to honor Mother Au Co – the mother of Vietnamese people. Mentioned a folk verse:

“Tháng Năm ngày tết Đoan Dương.

Là ngày giỗMẹViệt Thường Văn Lang.”

It can be literally translated as “Doan Ngo Festival of the fifth lunar month is Mother Au Co’s death anniversary”. Perhaps, traditional liturgy of ancestor worship in Doan Ngo Festival originated from this.

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