During the program, starting on February 9, the participants got involved in wrapping Chung cakes, preparing five fruits to offer the ancestors, building cay neu (Lunar New Year pole) and hat cua dinh (singing in front of a communal house).

Wrapping Chung cakes in the program

They also had chances to learn about traditional customs told by cultural researchers; listen to folk music performed by artisans and artists from home towns of Xam, Then and Xoan singing; make folk paintings; be entertained with dragon dances, cheo (popular opera) excerpts and a show of traditional long robe for men.

According to researcher of traditional culture Nguyen Hung Vi, communal house is a place worshipping tutelary gods and great contributors to the community. It is also a place where villagers gather to make major decisions for the village. Thus, it is considered a sacred place.

Vi added that judging from the dishes offered at the communal house during Tet, one could know that the life in the village is comfortable or not.

The “Vietnamese Tet in communal house” program was initiated three years ago by the Vietnamese communal house group. Last year’s program saw the participation of invited guests from 20 embassies and international organizations in Vietnam, during which the guests were impressed at and learnt more about the traditional culture of Vietnam.

Translated by Mai Huong