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Tet Han Thuc (Cold Food Festival) in Vietnam

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10:31 | 25/03/2020

Tet Han Thuc (Cold Food Festival) is a traditional festival in Vietnam which takes place on the March 3 of Lunar Calendar. This is occasion for family to gather and remember their ancestors.    

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Banh troi, banh chay are two dishes that are eaten during Tet Han Thuc.

In Chinese, Han means cold and Thuc mean food. According to culturalists, starting from the 3rd lunar month, the weather gradually warms up, which is also the time to change from spring to summer. Therefore, to celebrate this time of year, people eat cold foods.

On Tet Han Thuc, all family’s members, even living or working far from home will come home to make “banh troi” and “banh chay” together. They are two traditional cakes of Tet Han Thuc in Vietnam.

tet han thuc cold food festival in vietnam

Family members gather to make banh troi and banh chay during the festival.

tet han thuc cold food festival in vietnam

Boiling banh troi and banh chay. Photo: Phuong Bao

After having done, people will put “banh troi” and “banh chay” on a tray on altar to offer ancestor. Then the householder will burn incense to invite ancestor enjoy Tet Han Thuc with family. When the liturgy of ancestor worship ended, all family will eat “banh troi” and “banh chay” together.

tet han thuc cold food festival in vietnam

Offering banh troi - banh chay to ancestors.

“Banh troi” are spheres made of glutinous rice flour with piece of sugar inside. “Banh chay” are bigger than “banh troi” and have sweet green bean inside instead of sugar. “Banh troi” has usually some coconut fibers and sesame, meanwhile “banh chay” has sweet broth.

tet han thuc cold food festival in vietnam

The main ingredients to make banh troi and banh chay consist of glutinous rice flour, brown sugar, steamed green bean paste and tapioca. Although they all are made from rice batter, their stuffing is rather different.

tet han thuc cold food festival in vietnam

Banh troi is stuffed with a piece of brown sugar.

tet han thuc cold food festival in vietnam

Banh troi” has usually some coconut fibers and sesame

tet han thuc cold food festival in vietnam

Banh troi and banh chay

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