Mother's Day is celebrated worldwide to honor and appreciate the love and sacrifices of mothers. Mother's Day in Vietnam, also known as Vu Lan Festival, also holds deep cultural and religious significance. This article explores the celebration of Mother's Day in Vietnam, its origins, and the meaningful traditions associated with it.
1. A glance at Mother's Day around the world and in Vietnam
Mother's Day is a day to express gratitude and affection for mothers. It is celebrated worldwide to acknowledge the immense contributions of mothers in shaping individuals and society. Mother's Day in most countries often falls on the second Sunday in May.
However, Mother's Day in Vietnam is not confined to a single day; it extends throughout August. It is also known as Vu Lan Festival. During this time, people gather to pay homage to their ancestors and show reverence to their living and deceased parents.
2. The origin of Vietnamese Mother’s Day/ Vu Lan Festival?
Vu Lan Festival originated from a story about the Buddhist monk Muc Kien Lien and his mother, Thanh De. Muc Kien Lien discovered that his mother was suffering in the realm of hungry ghosts due to her past misdeeds.
Motivated by his filial piety, he offered food to alleviate her hunger, but the food turned into flames due to her karmic consequences. Devastated, Muc Kien Lien sought guidance from Buddha on how to rescue his mother.
According to Buddha's teachings, an individual alone cannot liberate their parents. It requires the collective efforts of Buddhist monks and the accumulation of merit. The seventh month in the lunar calendar was considered auspicious for making offerings and seeking aid from monks. Following Buddha's guidance, Muc Kien Lien successfully liberated his mother from the realm of hungry ghosts.
This event led to the establishment of the Vu Lan Festival, which serves as a reminder to express filial piety toward parents and honor them for their love and sacrifices.
3. How is Mother’s Day celebrated in Vietnam?
3.1. Western Mother’s Day
Although traditional Mother's Day in Vietnam is unpopular, Vietnamese children express their love and gratitude by presenting gifts and heartfelt messages to their mothers. It is a time to cherish the unconditional love and care they receive from their mothers.
Here are some suggested heartfelt Mother's Day wishes and quotes:
- People may come and go, but Mother will always stay by our side through all the ups and downs of our lives. Happy Mother's Day.
- It is not a special day; for us, even 365 days of the year will fall short of expressing love and gratitude toward you. Happy Mother's Day!
- On this Mother's Day, I promise to be with you in all the thick and thins of your life, just like you have stayed with me since my birth until now. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
- I wish to express my gratitude to a teacher who not only shares her knowledge but also acts as a lifelong mentor for me. Happy Mother's Day!
- A mother is the truest friend we have.
- I believe in the strength, intelligence, and sensitivity of women. My mother and my sisters are strong. My mum is a strong woman, and I love you for it.
- The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.
To say "Happy Mother's Day" in Vietnamese, you would say "Chuc mung Ngay cua Me." It is a warm and affectionate greeting to convey well wishes and celebrate the special day dedicated to mothers.
3.2. Vu Lan Festival
The Vu Lan Festival in Vietnam is filled with significant rituals and customs. One important tradition is setting up ceremonial altars at homes and temples to honor the Buddha, deities, ancestors, and all sentient beings. Each altar has specific offerings.
Another significant ritual during the festival is "Bong hong cai ao" (Rose Petal Attachment), where people wear a red rose if their parents are alive or a white rose if their parents have passed away. This action reminds everyone to be grateful and respectful toward their parents.
Releasing flower lanterns into rivers or lakes is another important ritual, representing prayers for the deceased and wishing for peace and liberation.
4. Wonderful things to do on Mother's Day in Vietnam
To make Mother's Day in Vietnam truly memorable, here are some suggested activities:
- Visit religious sites: It is highly recommended to explore the beauty and serenity of Bai Dinh Pagoda, Thien Mu Pagoda, Hoang Phap Buddhist Temple, where you can experience the spiritual essence of the Vu Lan Festival.
- Try vegetarian dishes: To embrace the spirit of compassion, you can enjoy vegetarian meals during this festival. Vietnamese cuisine offers a wide variety of delicious vegetarian options.
- Release floating flower lanterns in Hoi An: The action symbolizes letting go of negativity and embracing positive wishes for loved ones. You can visit the enchanting Hoi An Ancient Town and partake in the tradition of releasing floating flower lanterns on the river for authentic experiences.
Furthermore, consider gifting your parents a memorable getaway during the Vu Lan Festival.
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At Vinpearl, you and your family can indulge in impeccable service, relax on pristine beaches, pamper yourselves with rejuvenating spa treatments, and savor gourmet dining experiences. Whether strolling hand-in-hand along the coastline or exploring the cultural treasures nearby, these Vinpearl properties offer the perfect setting for creating treasured moments with your parents.
Mother's Day in Vietnam, or the Vu Lan Festival, blends traditional and contemporary celebrations. It is deeply rooted in Buddhist traditions and serves as an opportunity to express filial piety and honor living and deceased parents. While Vietnamese people also acknowledge the "Western" Mother's Day, the Vu Lan Festival remains a special occasion to express gratitude and love towards parents. May this Mother's Day be a time of joy, reflection, and appreciation for mothers in Vietnam and worldwide.