Buddhists, youths help the poor enjoy Lunar New Year

Hundreds of Buddhists and youngsters from Hanoi will participate in a programme to make banh chung (Vietnamese square sticky rice cakes) for disadvantaged people to enjoy Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

(VNF) - Hundreds of Buddhists and youngsters from Hanoi will participate in a programme to make banh chung (Vietnamese square sticky rice cakes) for disadvantaged people to enjoy Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

The programme will take place at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism (Dong Mo, Son Tay, Hanoi) from January 17th-19th.

The cakes will be presented to underprivileged and ethnic minority people in remote and natural disaster prone areas in the northwestern province of Dien Bien, central Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri provinces.

The first banh chung making program for the poor was launched in 2015. Banh chung is seen as an essential element of the family altar at Tet, particularly in northern Vietnam. The making and eating of banh chung is a well-preserved tradition of Vietnamese people.

Buddhists, youths help the poor enjoy Lunar New Year

People gather to make Banh Chung for for disadvantaged people to enjoy Tet. (Photo: Internet)

Vietnamese banh chung are made of sticky rice, pork and mung beans and wrapped green leaves called la dong.

The process of making Chung cake is time-consuming and requires the contribution of several people. Main ingredients are glutinous rice, pork meat, and green beans wrapped in a square of bamboo leaves that will give the rice a green color after boiling. The sticky rice must be very good and was soaked in water in the previous day. Rice cake is wrapped in square shape, and the wrapping power must be neither tight nor loose. Then the cake will be boiled in about 12 hours by wood. The Green Chung cake has nutrition with an original tasty flavor and may be kept for a long time.

A ceremony to erect “Cay Neu” (a tall bamboo tree) will also be held at the village to ward off bad feelings from the old year and pray for peace and happiness for Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups.

Nearly 200 village patriarchs, intellectuals and artisans from 16 ethnic communities of different regions are expected to gather at a spring programme from February 4th-5th.

The annual event aims to honour the unique culture of Vietnamese ethnic groups and strengthen national unity.

Traditional festivals will be presented at the programme such as “Xen Ban” (worshipping) of the Thai ethnic group, and “Nao Pe Chau” (ancestral worship) of the Mong ethnic community. Visitors can enjoy various cultural activities such as goat-fighting, tree growing, folk games, and food exchanges./.

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