Over 5,000 partake in traditional fest in southern Vietnam
Over 5,000 people gathered at the Tan Xuan communal house in the southern Vietnamese province of Long An to participate in the “Lam Chay” festival on Friday.
“Lam Chay” is a traditional festival annually held in four places including the Tan Xuan communal house, Linh Phuoc Tu Pagoda, Ong Pagoda, and the Tam Vu market in Long An.
The fest, which takes place from the 14th to 16th days of the first month of the lunar year, aims at restoring folklore and traditional culture and praying for good weather and a peaceful country.
The festival originated from an incident in which French colonials shot and killed two Vietnamese patriots at the Tam Vu market at the end of the 19th century and forbade people from holding any kind of funerals.
When an epidemic broke out and destroyed their harvest, locals decided to hold a ceremony to not only repel the insects but also worship the patriots.
At midday on Friday, which coincided with the 16th day of the lunar year’s first month, people in Long An Province carried the paper model of a god, which has long been considered a hero who kills demons to save humans, from Linh Phuoc Tu Pagoda to the Tan Xuan communal house.
The offering area, featuring a lot of candies and cakes considered lucky tokens, was surrounded and protected by a bamboo fence.
People started praying for the dead from 10:00 pm until midnight when the ritual ceremony ended and the paper model was burned.
Locals were allowed to destroy the fence to scramble for the lucky tokens.
The “Lam Chay” festival has also received the national intangible cultural heritage title.
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