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31/01/2022 - 21:10

The bamboo pole erection ceremony at the Thai Family Ancestral House of Prof. Dr. Thai Kim Lan 

At the Thai Family Ancestral House, Prof. Dr. Thai Kim Lan’s family had prepared banh chung, banh tet, phap lam, and phu the cakes from the previous day. After finding a satisfactory bamboo pole, the homeowner would perform a ceremony to worship the ancestors and then arrange incense table, candle, betel nut, wine, etc. in front of the yard to begin the ritual. Red couplets would also be prepared in advance and written in a conventional calligraphy style. In a dignified and joyful atmosphere to welcome the new year, the bamboo pole will be erected with the joyful jingle of the bell hanging from the top of the bamboo pole. The bamboo pole will celebrate Tet with the family and neighborhood until it is lowered on the 7th of January (Lunar Calendar) when everyone goes back to work in the new year.

Due to the pandemic, this year, at the Thai Family Ancestral House, the owner only invited a few guests who are passionate about culture and love traditional customs to attend. In the spring sunshine, amidst the brilliant blossoms of yellow apricots (ochna intergerima), camellia and the fragrant aroma of the sweet osmanthus, both owners and guests mingle in the air with the scent of incense and the taste of early Tet from banh chung and banh tet.

The erection of a bamboo pole to mark New Year's Day is now mainly symbolic, rather than to ward off evil spirits as in the past. The shadow of a tall bamboo pole in the distance, with red banners fluttering in the wind, is a reminder of the Tet holidays of the homeland. Here’s to wishing for all the wonderful things to come to every family in the new year, for good weather, for national peace and prosperity!

Table of offerings for the Bamboo Pole Erection Ceremony

Wind chimes to be tied to the top of the bamboo pole

The Venerable Master Phap Nhu writing the mantra “Namo Shakya Munaye Buddhaya” on a red silk ribbon to hang as the banner

Preparing Tet cakes to treat the attending guests

A tray of Phap lam cakes

Tet cakes are arranged on the tray

Prof. Dr. Thai Kim Lan performing the ritual

Prof. Dr. Thai Kim Lan performing the ritual

The banner is tied to the bamboo pole

Erecting the bamboo pole

Prof. Dr. Thai Kim Lan standing next to the bamboo pole

By Hue News