Exploring the History and Traditions of T?t Ðoan Ng?, Vietnam’s Mid-Year Festival

Do you know the story of Doan Ngo Tet, or the Double Fifth Festival? This traditional holiday has a deep history which has played an important role in East Asian and Vietnamese culture. Find out more about this special event and its fascinating history!


How to worship ancestors in the Doan Ngo Tet holiday you should know

What is the Reason Behind Naming Doan Ngo Tet as the Worm-Killing Holiday?

According to ancient tales, a time existed when pests ravaged crops, leading to great hardships for the people. However, a renowned elder by the name of Doi Truan emerged from a distant land, bringing hope with him.

According to the wise elder’s guidance, it was advised that individuals establish a humble place of worship within their households, comprising of an offering of two cakes and fresh fruits. Accompanied by this ritual, they would engage in exercises conducted in front of their respective dwellings. Subsequently, upon adhering to the wise elder’s instructions, the nuisances promptly vanished.

Why is Doan Ngo Tet also called the worm-killing holiday?

The annual celebration of the worm-killing holiday has been observed since its inception. This significant event is deeply intertwined with agricultural traditions, making it a revered occasion in Vietnamese rural communities.

What Is the Significance of Doan Ngo Tet Falling on the 5th of May in the Lunar Calendar?

According to TS Tran Long, a scholar from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, National University of Ho Chi Minh City, the lunar new year was traditionally celebrated by Vietnamese people in the 11th month of the lunar calendar, known as the Tí month. As a result, the 5th month of the lunar calendar is considered the midpoint of the year, symbolizing the transition from the dry season to the harvest season. During this time, it is customary for people to express gratitude to the higher powers, their ancestors, and rejoice in a bountiful harvest.

Based on the research conducted by TS Long, the term “Doan” signifies the commencement, while “Ng?” signifies noon, which is regarded as the hottest time of the day between 11 am and 1 pm. With this in mind, Doan Ngo can be comprehended as “the initial day of the hottest period within a year.”

The customs surrounding the Doan Ngo Tet celebration in Vietnam have emerged due to the agricultural practices of rice cultivation, which require careful monitoring of weather conditions and careful selection of sowing and planting times.

Doan Ngo Tet

Doan Ngo Tet: Comparing Celebrations in 3 Different Regions

According to Associate Professor Dr. Pham Ngoc Trung, a former head of the Department of Culture Studies at the Academy of Journalism and Communication in the North Central region, it is believed that sticky rice can be used to eliminate worms. Folklore suggests that the strong aroma of sticky rice, when combined with the spiciness of wine, aids in the removal of harmful parasites from the body.

Sticky rice wine

In the Central region, known for its harsh weather, the Doan Ngo Tet festivities entail grand-scale rituals aimed at invoking peace and a bountiful harvest. This occasion also serves as a joyful gathering for family members, who come together to partake in a festive meal.

In the Central region, the Doan Ngo Tet offering tray comprises of essential elements such as sticky rice and wine, which are traditionally believed to ward off worms. The tray also includes rice paper, ke cake, and the indispensable tro cake.

The Doan Ngo Tet offering tray of people in the Central region

Sticky rice wine is a traditional delicacy commonly enjoyed during the Doan Ngo Tet celebration in the Southern region. Typically formed into round balls and served alongside steamed glutinous rice, it is a signature dish and holds cultural significance amongst the local populace. Additionally, duck meat holds great importance and is considered an essential component for this festive occasion, as per the Southern tradition.

Exploring the Traditions of Doan Ngo Tet in Vietnam

Doan Ngo Tet is a meaningful occasion where individuals gather with their loved ones to celebrate at home. On this special day, people partake in traditional culinary delights such as tro cake, lotus seed sweet soup, fruits, and sticky rice wine. These dishes are believed to have the power to rid the body of worms and diseases. It is customary for individuals to begin their day by consuming sticky rice wine.

During this auspicious occasion, individuals partake in traditional ceremonies to mark the beginning of a new period, symbolizing brightness and clarity. It is customary for many to cleanse themselves by bathing with medicinal herb leaves, believed to ward off ailments and eradicate parasites. Furthermore, in various coastal regions, individuals venture into the sea for a midday swim as part of their celebrations.

Herb leaves

According to folklore, on this auspicious day when the positive energy is at its peak, people engage in rituals to seek peace and harmony. In accordance with this belief, the leaves collected during this period are said to possess potent healing properties, prompting traditional medicine practitioners to venture into the mountains to gather herbs.

During the Doan Ngo Tet holiday, individuals suffering from a cold or flu can find relief by incorporating 5 specific types of leaves into their steam bath. These leaves include guava, cactus, perilla, mulberry, and lemongrass. This method proves effective in alleviating illness symptoms.

Furthermore, individuals may opt to purchase cactus branches to adorn their homes as a means of safeguarding against malevolent forces.

In addition, some people also buy cactus branches to put in their homes to ward off evil spirits.

Exploring the Traditions Surrounding Doan Ngo Tet Celebrations in Vietnam

The celebration of Doan Ngo Tet involves two essential components: ancestral worship and outdoor worship. The composition of the offering tray during this occasion can vary, depending on the economic circumstances of the host, and may consist of either vegetarian or non-vegetarian items.

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– Assorted fresh fruits
– A variety of gourmet cheeses
– Homemade breads and crackers
– Delicate slices of smoked salmon
– Cured meats, such as prosciutto and salami
– A selection of olives and pickled vegetables
– Dips and spreads, like hummus and tzatziki
– Artfully arranged mini desserts and pastries
– A refreshing assortment of beverages, including sparkling water, fruit juices, and a curated wine selection.

  • Vegetarian Meal Tray

    Enjoy a delicious and nutritious vegetarian meal with our specially curated vegetarian meal tray. Packed with a variety of flavorful and nutritious options, our vegetarian meal tray is perfect for those who prefer a plant-based diet. Whether you are a vegetarian or simply looking for a healthier option, our vegetarian meal tray is sure to satisfy your cravings and keep you fueled throughout the day.

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  • Fruit Tray with Five Flavors

    Fruit Tray with Five Flavors

    A selection of fruits with five distinct flavors:

    • Sour
    • Spicy
    • Salty
    • Bitter
    • Sweet

  • There are nine red dollar flower blossoms elegantly arranged and pinned on the fruit tray.
  • Three cups of wine in three different colors: white, red, and yellow, infused with a hint of hùng hoàng.
  • Three cups of tea with three different flavors, all featuring a unique golden hue: boat-shaped golden tea, ingot-shaped golden tea, and leaf-shaped golden tea.
  • May purchase a small quantity of hell money.

Ancestral worship tray for Doan Ngo Tet

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Plan a serene and spiritually uplifting outdoor worship experience, thoughtfully arranged to face the south direction.

The offering tray comprises:

  • Delicious Vegetarian Cakes and Sticky Rice

    Indulge in our delectable assortment of vegetarian cakes and sticky rice. Our cakes are made with the finest, freshest ingredients and are free from any animal products. From rich chocolate cakes to light, fluffy vanilla cakes, we have something to satisfy every sweet tooth. Our sticky rice is cooked to perfection, with a sticky, sweet texture that will leave you craving for more. Whether you’re a vegetarian or just looking for a healthier dessert option, our vegetarian cakes and sticky rice are the perfect choice. Come and experience the mouthwatering flavors today!

  • A Five-Colored Fruit Tray

    This fruit tray features a selection of fruits that represent the five different flavors:

    • Sour
    • Spicy
    • Salty
    • Bitter
    • Sweet

    Indulge your taste buds with a diverse range of flavors that will satisfy all your cravings!

  • There are nine red dollar flower blossoms arranged on the fruit tray.
  • Five Cups of Wine in Five Colors

    There are five cups of wine available, each in a different color:

    • White: A classic choice, known for its crisp and refreshing taste.
    • Red: This bold and robust wine is perfect for those who enjoy a full-bodied flavor.
    • Yellow: A vibrant and aromatic wine that offers a unique and exotic taste.
    • Green: A light and fruity wine that is perfect for those who prefer a milder taste.
    • Black: A rich and velvety wine with deep flavors that will satisfy any wine connoisseur.

    For an added touch, each cup of wine is mixed with a hint of hùng hoàng, a special ingredient that enhances the overall flavor.

  • Gold Tea Assortment

    Indulge in the rich flavors of our exquisite gold tea assortment. Each cup is carefully crafted with five unique flavors, all showcasing a stunning golden hue.

    • Boat-shaped Gold Tea
    • Ingot-shaped Gold Tea
    • Leaf-shaped Gold Tea

Please note: It is important to refrain from offering hell money during this ritual.

An outdoor worship tray for praying to Ngoc Hoang Dai De and Th?n Tiên

Celebrating 6Doan Ngo Tet in Eastern Countries

In Japan, China, and Korea, individuals commemorate Doan Ngo Tet annually, each culture ascribing unique significance to this occasion.

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In Japan, the Doan Ngo Tet holiday holds special significance for boys as well. Families celebrate this occasion by displaying carp flags, which symbolize good health and intelligence. The image of the carp also embodies the heartfelt aspirations of parents for their children to achieve success in life. Additionally, the Japanese tradition involves the preparation and consumption of mochi cakes as offerings during this festive time.

Doan Ngo Tet in Japan

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Double Fifth Tet in China

The Double Fifth Tet in China, also known as Doan Ngo Tet, is celebrated on the 5th of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. This traditional festival is marked with joyous festivities and cultural activities.

One of the highlights of the Double Fifth Tet is the exhilarating dragon boat races. These captivating competitions draw crowds of spectators who cheer on the teams as they race against each other. The dragon boat races are not only thrilling to watch but also hold deep cultural significance.

In addition to the dragon boat races, local residents actively participate in various folk activities during the Double Fifth Tet. This includes the creation of scented sachets, lantern-making, and decorating homes. Scented sachets are filled with aromatic herbs and flowers and are believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. Lantern-making is a cherished tradition where intricate lanterns are crafted and then displayed to illuminate the streets. Home decorations are also an important part of the festivities, with families adorning their homes with vibrant colors and auspicious symbols.

The Double Fifth Tet in China is truly a lively and vibrant celebration that allows people to come together to honor their heritage and enjoy traditional customs.

Doan Ngo Tet in China

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Doan Ngo Tet, known as Dano in Korea, is regarded as one of the three major traditional festivals in the country. It serves as a significant opportunity for the people of Korea to come together and celebrate their rich traditional values. During this festive occasion, individuals, especially women and children, typically adorn themselves in traditional attire, partake in communal baths with mugwort leaves, and engage in various traditional games and activities.

Doan Ngo Tet in Korea

7 Taboos to Avoid During the Doan Ngo Festival

According to cultural researcher Nguyen Hung Vi, the Doan Ngo Tet celebration occurs precisely at noon (12 pm) on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. The term “Doan” signifies the beginning, while “Ng?” refers to the time span from 11 am to 1 pm.

Things to note on Doan Ngo Tet

On this day, please refrain from the following activities:

  • According to Chinese beliefs, throwing shoes in a disorderly fashion can bring about misfortune. This is because the word for shoes is homophonic with the word for “bad luck” in Chinese. Hence, it is advised to refrain from throwing shoes in an incorrect manner to avoid attracting negative energy.

  • To avoid the unfortunate loss of prosperity and fortune, it is advised not to drop money or a wallet on Doan Ngo Tet.
  • Avoid purchasing items with unconventional shapes:

    During the celebration of Doan Ngo Tet, it is recommended to refrain from acquiring objects with peculiar forms, uncertain origins, and symbolic significances. This precaution serves to safeguard your home from potential adverse energies.

  • According to feng shui principles, it is advisable to avoid selecting the first or last room in a corridor when staying at a hotel. These particular locations are believed to accumulate negative energy, which can potentially impact one’s well-being negatively.
  • It is advisable to refrain from visiting somber locations during travel, such as hospitals and funeral homes, as these places tend to possess an abundance of negative energy. Exposure to such environments may potentially invite illness and misfortune.

References: Báo điện tử Thể thao và Văn hóa – TTXVN, Báo Thanh Niên

We hope that this article has offered you valuable insights into the customs and traditions of Doan Ngo Tet. If you have any thoughts to share or any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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