Vietnamese Mother's Day
- on May 11, 2018       By: LucyH
No matter what nationality you have, there is thing that every country has in common with each other which is the gratitude that they have towards their mothers. We all have our own ways to celebrate a special day for our moms, Vietnam however, has a profound and fascinating tradition like no other.
While some countries such as Japan, Germany, Canada and Brazil, celebrate mother’s day in the month of May, others countries including; Egypt, UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar celebrate mother’s day in March. From each country, mother’s day celebrations and traditions are altered. Whether mom is treated to breakfast in bed, or given a dozen red roses, a day of relaxation at home, while the rest of the family does the house chores, each country is unique in the way that it recognizes the matriarch of the family.
In Vietnam, mother’s day is seen as a time to express their profound gratitude and family devotion to their parents, and especially their mothers. The tradition goes to honor parents who are both living and departed. The celebrations invite the souls of their ancestors to find their way back to earth. This tradition stems from the Buddhist religion, as the Vietnamese population is predominantly comprised of the Buddhist faith.
♦ Meaning of the tradition
The celebration of relies heavily on honoring the dead, as they believe that the dead’s souls return to their former homes during this time.
For this reason, during its mother’s day celebrations, it is common to see food offerings, and other items to offer the hungry spirits, when the kingdoms of heaven, hell and earth have been opened.The purpose of this ritual is to feed the souls of the departed and pray for their salvation. It is also considered as a way people to abide by their duties to their families.
The ceremony is said to help rescue the souls of seven generations of ancestors from any sufferings that they are enduring away from Earth. Anytime within the month, every family can choose a day of feasting and burning of incense in front of the house, to welcome the spirits and invite them to eat.
This ritual is considered as a very personal chance for the Vietnamese to express their boundless appreciation to their parents.
♦ Vu Lan
Another part of the tradition is for the Vietnamese locals, who wish to celebrate their mothers, to go to a pagoda (or a temple), wearing a rose that represents their mothers. This tradition is one of the most common traditions of the mother’s day celebrations, as thousands of people are said to partake in this celebration. The roses that are worn during this ritual vary in colour, whether pink, red or white.
The pink and red rose represent mothers who are living, while the white roses represent mothers who have departed. The rose is a symbol of respect, honour and love amongst parents and their children, irrespective of their religion or social class.
During this festival, locals are invited to burn incense and pray for peace and harmony to their parents and family members, as well as express their gratitude and love.
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