HUNG NGUYEN MANH1
… be continued for section 1:
The Rite to bring down the TẾT POLE
Although Tết ends since the fourth day of the first month, the villagers continue their holiday until they bring down the Tết pole to begin farming and trading. The Tết pole is planted before Tết and is kept until the seventh day of the first month when it is brought down after making offerings to Heaven and Earth right in the yard together with making offerings to one’s ancestors. The Genius of the Earth and the Genius of Riches.
In Huế Court the king holds this ceremony on the fifth of the first month. Mandarins and common people go to pagodas, temples, tombs, parks and beautiful sights. From the eighth of the first month work gradually returns as usual but everybody lazily enjoys spring:
“The first month is the month to play” (FOLK-SONG)
The Khai Hạ Tết (taking down the tết pole) also called Tết Nhân Nhựt (Nhân means man, and Nhựt means day). Why is the Tết Khai Hạ called so? As we all have known, according to the imagination of Đông Phương Sóc of the Hán dynasty, as well as according to astrologers from the first to the sixth of the first lunar month are days representing the vital spirits of animals such as horse, buffalo, goat, cock, dog and pig. The 7th day is particularly reserved for the vital spirit of Man.
For that reason, after enjoying the Nguyên Đán Tết (Lunar New Year Day), one still has to prepare offerings and a feast to celebrate Tết once again to take down the tết pole in compliance with the popular saying which reads:
“On the 7th one takes down the Tết pole”.
The ceremony to take down the Tết pole is observed on the 7th of Tết:
“Throughout a year one has only one fullmoon day in the seventh lunar month,
All that one has through the months is the 7th day of the first lunar month”.
A question has been posed asking why the Tết pole must be taken down on the 7th of the first lunar month? According to two books on the art of soothsaying called “Chiêm tuế sự thư” and “Kinh sở tuế thời kỳ”, each one of the first days of the new lunar year is represented by a thing as follows:
The first Tết day is represented by a rooster.
The second Tết day is represented by a dog.
The third Tết day is represented by a pig.
The fourth Tết day is represented by a goat.
The fifth Tết day is represented by a buffalo.
The sixth Tết day is represented by a horse.
The seventh Tết day is represented by a man.
The eight Tết day is represented by the paddies.
The above mentioned classification bears a soothsaying character One ponders that among these first 8 days of the first lunar month, if there is a day that gets dry and clear, then the animal or human being it represents shall have a lucky year.
For that reason, if the 7th day happens to be a clear, rainless and windless day, then people would believe that throughout this year, Man shall be healthy and happy. And thus, they make a feast to celebrate and called that feast “Khai hạ” (opening the rejoicing season).
Later on, when comes that day and though it is rainy and windy, one still observes the old custom and prepares a feast to celebrate exactly on the 7th day. This is the last meal that terminates the Tết days, thus, all the offsprings must gather together to enjoy and worship with a tray of dishes such as porkpie, sour pork hash, simmered beef or pork, steamed lean meat pounded with bits of skin…2
1 Associate Professor HUNG NGUYEN MANH, Doctor in Phylosophy of History.
2 According to TRẦN QUỐC VƯỢNG – LÊ VĂN HẢO – DƯƠNG TẤT TỪ – Spring and customs of Vietnam – Quoted book.
BAN TU THU
◊ Source: Vietnamese Lunar New Year – Major Festival – Asso. Prof. HUNG NGUYEN MANH, Doctor of Phylosophy in History.
◊ Bold text and sepia images has been set by Ban Tu Thu – thanhdiavietnamhoc.com
◊ From Sketches in early 20th century to traditional rituals and festival.
◊ Signification of the term “Tết”
◊ Lunar New Year Festival
◊ Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for KITCHEN and CAKES
◊ Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for MARKETING – Section 1
◊ Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for MARKETING – Section 2
◊ Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for Dept payment
◊ In SOUTHERN PART of the COUNTRY: a HOST of PARALLEL CONCERNS
◊ The tray of Five fruits
◊ The Arrival of New Year
◊ SPRING SCROLLS – Section 1
◊ The Cult of The Deities of the Kitchen – Section 1
◊ The Cult of The Deities of the Kitchen – Section 2
◊ The Cult of The Deities of the Kitchen – Section 3
◊ Waiting for the NEW YEAR – Section 1
◊ Paying the last honours to CÔ KÍ” (The clerk’s wife) on the second Day of TẾT
◊ Before BEGINNING to WORK – Section 1
◊ Why do People FIRECRACKERS at TẾT time?
◊ Vietnam Lunar New Year – vi-VersiGoo