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The lunar calendar holds great significance in Vietnamese culture, with certain days of the month thought to bring good fortune and others considered to be unlucky. While some other dates lend themselves to a range of festivities and activities.
Foreigners, particularly those from a Western culture, may find it a bit unusual or difficult to understand at first, but Vietnamese people often refer to the lunar calendar for lunar-based holidays, like Tet holiday. They also tend to use it in their daily life alongside the international solar calendar. As an expat, it can be both fun and useful to try to get grips with this, especially if settling in Vietnam for some time.
The moon, widely believed to control tides and even our emotions at times, is a significant object of worship and adoration, like in many cultures. It is thought to be particularly special when in its full moon phase, and there are beach parties and town festivals thrown in its honor, including the Hoi An Lantern Festival in the Old Town. Hence, the first and 15th (full moon) are regarded as special days of the month, when many Vietnamese will go to temple or pagoda to chant or worship. It is also common for people to refrain from eating meat on these days to cleanse their souls and show respect.
The anniversaries of ancestors are the most important occasions on a Vietnamese person’s calendar. Many Vietnamese believe that after someone dies their spirit lives on, hence descendants will “worship” their ancestors to continue demonstrating their respect and devotion.
Vietnamese often consult their ancestors’ “souls” when making big decisions, such as before getting married or having a child. On the anniversaries of their deaths, families will get together to hold meaningful ceremonies to remember and pay tribute to their loved ones; they are also celebrated throughout certain lunar festivals.
Modern Vietnamese Culture
Modern Vietnamese culture has seen women’s rights increase and women have started to take on leadership roles more frequently, but Vietnam is still very much a patriarchal society with a strong focus on the fulfillment of traditional gender roles, both within the family and community. For instance, the father is often deemed the head of the family and it is thus his responsibility to provide food, shelter and other necessities for everyone.
We have been featured in the Ultimate Hoi An Travel Guide by Asianwaytravel.com!
Green and Pink were a strong featured palette from our recent fashion show held in Hoi An. For any orders for these designs please email email@example.com
French Influence on Vietnamese Culture
With several hundred years of influence, the French influence on Vietnamese culture can be seen across the country.
Hoi An’s Ancient Town is a great example of a mixture of French and Vietnamese architecture. Likewise, this mix can be seen in Ho Chi Minh City’s Notre-Dame Cathedral (the name’s also a bit of a giveaway), Hanoi’s Opera House and in buildings in al the major cities.
Food is another area that still bears the hallmarks of French involvement. The banh mi – a daily staple snack for locals and visitors alike – is certainly flavoured Vietnamese-style but the bread is based on the famous French baguette. The preference for condensed milk in coffee is another French invention – many years ago it was difficult for the French colonialists to bring sufficient milk into the country without it spoiling. Condensed milk was a convenient long-life alternative that caught on.