Cultural features in Vietnamese festival


Vietnamese lunar new year festival (Tet holiday part 1)
Vietnamese lunar new year festival (Tet holiday part 2)

Vietnam festival is a cultural event organized in a community. Like many other countries in the world, Vietnam has a culture with its own identity. It is these traits that make up the essence, form, and identity of the Vietnamese nation and are reflected through the festivals in this country.

Vietnamese Festival
Vietnamese Festival

When do Vietnamese festivals take place?

Festivals in Vietnam are usually held in the spring when heaven and earth are in harmony, lush nature and hearts of people rejoice. The festival is a demonstration of the cohesion of the community, which is a testament to the thousand-year-old cultural beauty of our father. According to statistics of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, our country currently has more than 8,000 festivals in the year. Each festival has its own characteristics and values, but it is always directed to a sacred object that needs to be worshiped as heroes against foreign invaders, who have a duty to educate and fight against natural disasters, eradicating beasts, rich in saving humanity.

General characteristics of the festival

With the thought of drinking water, remember the source, eating fruit and remembering the people who plant trees, the festival takes place in a lively way with the achievements, merits, and bridges of the past. With the present, making today’s young generation understand the work of ancestors, more proud of their homeland tradition and country. In particular, festivals in our country are attached to villages, places, and lands as an indispensable element in the life of the community.

Most festivals in Vietnam are often associated with historical events, commemorating people with meritorious services to the country in the war against foreign invaders. Therefore, the fun games at the festival often bring many strong features of martial arts spirit such as cross-examination, wrestling (Co Loa festival) martial arts competitions and running competitions (Vi Khe and Nam Dinh flower festivals), cross-shooting and “còn” throwing competitions (in the ethnic minority areas in the North). The abundance of festivals in Vietnam is both a national cultural beauty and foreign tourists.

Process of the festival

Normally, any local association will proceed with the following three steps:

1. Festival preparation

The preparation festival has two stages, after and when the festival is near. The preparation for the festivals is successive over the years. When the festival day is about to take place, the task of re-checking sacrifices, costumes, cleaning, opening the relics, receiving water for the bathing ceremony (carpentry) and sacrifices, changing costume for god.

2. Events in the festival

Many activities take place during festivals, including rituals, processions, incense offering, and fun games. This is all the most significant main activities of a festival. The festival attracts many people or visitors to the festival, which takes place over many days or days completely dominated by activities these days.

3. End of the festival

The Organizing Committee celebrates the weightlifting ceremony and closes the relic.

Stage of preparing a festival in Vietnam
Stage of preparing a festival in Vietnam

The time of the festival

The festival in Vietnam is most organized in the spring and fall months. These two periods are when people are idle. In the spring, the weather is warm and the weather is cool and convenient for organizing festivals. The two basic elements create comfort and fun for the attendees.

Spring Festival at Ba Be Lake
Spring Festival at Ba Be Lake

Some characteristics of the Vietnamese festivals in general

1. Sacredness feature

To form a festival, one must always find a “sacred” reason. It could be the hero who fought the wounded, fell down to that land, immediately got an extrusion to the grave. It could also be the place where a hero suddenly shows up, flying to heaven. Sometimes it was just a river bank, where a drowned corpse, floating suddenly stopped, did not float, people pick up, bury, worship…v.v. Sometimes the festival is only formed for the birth date, the death date of a person who has a meritorious service to the village with the country, in this field or another field (there are healers, Some people have vocational training, there are people who ditch ditches, have watermen, some people fight the enemy …). However, those people were always “sacred” and became “gods” in people’s minds.

People believe that those people have become gods, not only can bless them in the aspects of life that they did: to cure, to work, to produce, to fight … but also to help them overcome more diverse and more complex difficulties of life.

That “Sacredness” regime has become spiritual support for the people in difficult times, as well as giving them hope for the good to come.

2. Community feature

The festival is only born, exists and grows when it becomes a voluntary need of a community. Big community, the scope of the festival is also great. So there is a festival of a family, a village, a district, a region or the whole country.

Community future in Vietnamese Festival
Community future in Vietnamese Festival

3. Imperial palace feature

Most of the Vietnamese festivals worship their gods. Therefore, the rituals that take place during the festival, from sacrifices, incense offering, and palanquin processions … all simulate court activities. The simulation shows in the layout, costumes, movement … This makes the festival become more solemn, more gorgeous. On the other hand, the Imperial palace ritual also makes the participants feel elevated to a different position from the usual day, psychological response, aspirations of the people.

Imperial Place feature in Vietnamese Festival
Imperial Place feature in Vietnamese Festival

4. Contemporary

Although heavy in traditional nuances, festivals, during the process of historical movement, also gradually absorbed contemporary elements. New games, new layouts, new technical facilities such as radio, cassette, video, amplifiers, microphones … These devices have participated in the festival, helping to organize The festival is more convenient, meeting new needs.

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