This three-day festival is of Chinese origin. Its ‘’Western name’’ would be the Cold Food Festival and it takes place in spring as the farmers are filling the paddy fields with water and sowing their crops. The skies will have clearer and everyone is optimistic about the coming year. It is a popular time for tourists to travel in Vietnam and you may come across the Festival in pockets of the North if you begin your Vietnam travel package in the north at this time.
The Festival is early in the third lunar month and the most likely origin of the festival is that it was held at a time when the villagers were changing their fires. Cleaning away ash etc., and starting afresh. It meant a few days without a fire, hence the cold food.
Popular foods are rice flour cakes stuffed with banh troi (plum, ginger or sesame with brown sugar) or banh chay (green bean paste) which are offered to their ancestors. As with many other festivals around the calendar, families will remember their ancestors and certainly tidy up their graves.
It is not one of the major festivals in Vietnam and is restricted to parts of the North. Few follow the tradition of not lighting a fire during the three days and in a country that jealously guards its traditions it is relatively unimportant.
Read more: Vietnamese Festival and Event