Vietnam traditions and customs

In Vietnamese society, people have a habit of being superstitious and this has been part of their daily life, their traditions and customs. On such occasions as marriages, funerals and open new house, people will try to choose a propitious date.

Greeting new year customs

Vietnam traditions and customs

On the Vietnamese New Year, people believe that the first person who visits their home during Tet holiday has a bearing on their welfare for the whole year. In contrast, the person who sweeps the floor on the first three days of this festive occasion might sweep away the wealth.The first day of Vietnamese lunar new year is reserved for the nuclear family, that is, the husband’s household. The second day of Tet is for visiting the wife’s family and close friends. Some shops have opened and a few lottery stands are busy selling chances to people who feel lucky. Everyone is out on the street parading around in their new clothes.On the third day of Tet, the circle of connections becomes larger and is extended to the broader community outside the family by visits to teachers, bosses or a helpful physician.On the fourth day, banks and shops reopen. Transactions, although slower, will be conducted more cheerfully than usual. Offices open and work resumes.

Wedding  customs

Vietnam traditions and customs

Vietnamese tradition of weddings nowadays still remains its core values as in the past.The wedding ceremony begins in front of the altar. The bride and the groom kneel down and pray, asking their ancestors’ permission to be married and their blessing on their family-to-be. The couple then turn around and bow to the bride’s parents to thank them for raising and protecting her since birth.

Family traditions

Vietnam traditions and customs

Marriage and family are very important in Vietnam. In the countryside, parents often arrange marriages; divorce remains uncommon, though is more frequent in cities. In traditional Vietnamese families, roles are rigid. The man of the house is primarily responsible for the family’s economic well-being and takes pride in his role as provider. Women are expected to submit to their husbands or to their eldest sons when widowed, and girls to their fathers. Older children help to look after younger siblings. Discipline is viewed as a parental duty, and spanking is common once children are past early childhood.

The woman of the house is referred to as nội tướng, “General of the Interior.” She looks after her in-laws as well as her parents, husband and children. In rural areas, women also do much agricultural work. Vietnamese women live by the “four virtues”: hard work, beauty, refined speech and excellent conduct.

Two traditional family obligations

Vietnam traditions and customs

The Vietnamese attach great importance to two traditional family obligations: to care for their parents in their old age and to worship them after death. In each Vietnamese family has at least one altar on which there are the pictures of their ancestors. Family members worship their ancestor because they think parents after death will go to live in another world and this altar is the place where the ancestors’ soul live in. As a result, every day, Vietnamese people not only lay the table for meal but they also lay the food on the altar for the belief that those ancestors will have a meal with them.

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