In the eyes of Vietnamese people, the Spring Festival is also the most grand and grand festival of the year. Just like the Chinese saying, “No first month is a year.” The Spring Festival of the Vietnamese also runs from the 30th of the New Year to the 15th of the first month, but the difference is that there will be some festival customs with local characteristics in Vietnam. For example, the “God of Wealth Day” on the tenth day of the first lunar month is one of the more representative cultural evolutions.
God of Wealth enjoys the “highest standard” treatment
In the traditional culture of southern Vietnam, the tenth day of the first lunar month is the day when the God of Wealth “parades in the lower realms”. The temples dedicated to the God of Wealth are usually full of pilgrims. For businessmen, the God of Wealth, who is invited to worship at home, is to enjoy the “highest standard” treatment. With the fusion of cultures in different regions of Vietnam, the “God of Wealth Festival”, a traditional festival that was originally unique to the people of southern Vietnam, has gradually come to the northern region of Vietnam. In Hanoi and the northern provinces, welcoming the God of Wealth on the tenth day of the first lunar month has become a popular custom among the people. On the day of “The God of Wealth”, the Vietnamese have to get up early and offer incense and flowers to the God of Wealth. The Vietnamese in the north usually use peach blossoms, and the central and southern parts are replaced by yellow plums (calendula) because they are located in the tropics.
After the flowers are presented, the wealthy family will offer a roast suckling pig as a sacrifice to welcome the God of Wealth who is “parade in the lower realms”. The Vietnamese believe that “sincerity leads to spirit”, and with sufficient preparation and grand ceremony, the God of Wealth will bestow the wealth and good fortune of the new year. However, due to the high expenditure during the Spring Festival, there are not many families capable of supplying “suckling pigs”. Therefore, people in the Jiulong River Plain have gradually begun to use the local snakehead fish as sacrificial items, among which the grilled snakehead fish is the most common. This day has also become the busiest day of the year for the grilled fish vendors in Ho Chi Minh City. According to the owner of a grilled fish shop in Ho Chi Minh City, he will sell more than 4,000 grilled snakehead fish on “Fortune Day” every year. Because there are too many orders, more than 20 workers are required to rush around the clock to complete the work.
Gold ingot cake is popular
After worshipping the God of Wealth, the Vietnamese would invite them to a nearby gold shop to choose gold ingots or jewelry. The Vietnamese believe that the gold and silver jewelry purchased on the tenth day of the first lunar month will bring wealth to this year. Therefore, on the tenth day of the tenth day, there will be a scene of “queuing shopping” in gold shops. Many businesses will also seize business opportunities on this day and let their employees wear the clothes of the God of Wealth to attract customers. On this day, the most popular are all kinds of gold and silver jewelry. In addition, commemorative coins engraved with the God of Wealth, Maitreya Buddha, and Taurus, as well as gold bars and gold ingots, are also the favorite products of the local people.
According to statistics from a gold jewelry chain company in Vietnam, from the opening of the market on the seventh day of the Lunar New Year to the tenth day of the Lunar New Year in 2021, the trading volume of gold jewelry increased by 20% year-on-year, and sales were mainly concentrated in the retail industry. In addition, due to the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the number of online orders has increased significantly this year, an increase of 7 times compared with last year.
However, not every household has the financial resources and willingness to buy gold on the “God of Wealth Day”. Many pastry merchants have spotted this opportunity and have launched desserts and cream cakes with the theme of “Gold Ingots” and “Lucky Cat”. According to the “Global Times” reporter, a gift box containing 10 “gold ingots” cakes is priced at 140,000 VND (approximately RMB 40). “Fortune Day” theme cakes are sought after and loved by many young people because of their relatively affordable prices.
Don’t go out for New Year’s greetings if you are out of luck
In traditional Vietnamese culture, “New Year” is a cluster concept, and there are also sets of related customs. During the Spring Festival of the Lunar New Year, Vietnamese people will come to visit the New Year since the third day of the junior high. Commonly used blessings about the Spring Festival are “longevity and prosperity”, “wellness and prosperity”, and “prosperous wealth” and so on. During the Spring Festival in Vietnam, there is also a custom called “Chong Nian, Chong Xi”. In other words, whoever is the first to visit his home to pay a New Year’s greeting after the start of a new lunar new year will affect his family’s fortune in the new year. Therefore, if anyone feels that he is not lucky enough, he will generally not go to other people’s homes for New Year’s greetings. This has become the basic quality of Vietnamese people.
The Vietnamese also have the custom of “seeking for money” during the Spring Festival. There are generally two types: one is called “Cailu”, usually when returning from the temple to worship the ancestors, pick a branch with green leaves and go home. The meaning is to collect the blessings given by the gods of heaven and earth. After taking this branch back, insert it in front of the shrine at home until the leaves are dead. The other is to bring some fruits back from the temple, also known as “Lu”, which can be distributed to friends and relatives as a way of taking good luck.
“Global Times” reporters also noticed during the Chinese New Year in Vietnamese families that Vietnamese people eat large square dumplings wrapped in banana leaves during the Spring Festival. The fillings of the dumplings are usually made of soybeans, mung beans, and pork. The popularity of this square zongzi in Vietnam is basically the same as that of dumplings to the Chinese. As for why it is made into a square shape, it is taken from the term “heaven and round place”, which also reflects the respect of the Vietnamese people for “heaven and earth.”
The next day Burkhardt met the painter with embarrassment . He was prepared to transform his friend and to find mocking coolness and defensive shame instead of yesterday’s excitement. Instead, Johann came towards him with quiet seriousness.
“So you’re going to travel tomorrow,” he said gently. “It is good and I thank you for everything. Incidentally, I haven’t forgotten about last night; we still have to talk to each other. ”
Otto responded doubtfully.
“Because of me; but I don’t want to excite you uselessly again. We may have stirred too much yesterday. Why did we have to wait until the last hour! ”
They had breakfast in the studio.
“No, it’s a good thing,” said Johann firmly. “It is very good that way. I had a sleepless night and chewed it all over again, you must know. You stirred a lot, and almost more than I could take Remember, in years I haven’t had anyone to talk to. But it should now be cleaned up and eaten up, otherwise I’m really the coward you called me yesterday. ”
“Oh, did that hurt you? Let it be! ”
“No, you were almost right, I think. I want to have a nice, happy day with you today, we’ll go out together in the afternoon and I’ll show you a beautiful piece of land. But first it has to be tidied up a bit. Yesterday it all fell on me so suddenly that I lost consciousness. But now I’ve considered everything. I think I now understand what you wanted to say to me yesterday. ”
He spoke so calmly and kindly that Burkhardt let go of his concerns.
“If you understand me, everything is fine and we don’t have to start all over again. You told me how it all came about and how it is now. So you only keep your marriage and your household and your entire previous state upright because you don’t want to part with Pierre. Isn’t it like that? ”
“Well, and how do you think about the next? It seems to me that yesterday you indicated that in time you would also be afraid of losing Pierre. Or not?”
Veraguth sighed painfully and put his forehead in his hand; but he continued in the same tone:
“Maybe it is so. That’s the bad point. Your opinion is that I should do without the boy? ”
“Yes, but yes! It costs you years and years of struggle with your wife, who will hardly leave him to you. ”
“That is possible. But look, Otto, he’s the last thing I have! I’m sitting in the rubble, and if I died today, apart from you, at most a few newspaper writers would get upset about it. I am a poor man, but I have this child, I still have this dear little guy, for whom I can live and whom I can love, for whom I suffer and with whom I am in good hours forget. You have to imagine that correctly! And I should give that away! ”
“It’s not easy, Johann. It’s a damn thing! But I don’t know any other way. Look, you don’t even know what it looks like out in the world, you sit stubborn and buried in your work and in your failed marriage. Take the step and throw everything away once, so you will suddenly see the world again with a hundred beautiful things waiting for you. You have lived with the dead for a long time and have lost touch with life. You’re attached to Pierre, and he’s a lovely fellow, of course; but that is not decisive. Be a little cruel and think about whether the boy really needs you! ”
“Does he need me …?”
“Yes. What you can give him is love, tenderness, feeling – these are things that a child usually needs less of than we old people think. And for this the little one grows up in a house where father and mother hardly know each other, where they are even jealous of him! He will not Raised by the good example of a happy, healthy home, he is precocious and will become a nerd. – And finally, excuse me, one day he will have to choose between you and his mother. Can’t you see that. ”
“Maybe you are right. I’m sure you’re right. But this is where my thinking stops. I am attached to the child and I cling to this love because I haven’t known any other warmth or light for a long time. Maybe in a few years he’ll let me down, maybe disappoint me, maybe hate me one day – like Albert hates me, who once threw a table knife at me when he was fourteen. But it still remains for me that I can still be with him for these few years and love him, that I can take his little hands in mine and hear his little bright bird’s voice. Say: do I have to give that away? Must I?”
Burkhardt shrugged his shoulders painfully and frowned.
“You have to, Johann,” he said very softly. “I think you have to. It doesn’t have to be today, but soon. You have to throw away everything you have and you have to bathe yourself in everything that has passed, otherwise you will never be able to see the world completely clear and free. Do what you like, and if you cannot take the step, stay here and live this life on – I belong to you, even then, and I am there for you, you know that. But I would be sorry. ”
“Guess me! I see a lot of darkness in front of me. ”
“I want to advise you. It is July now; I’m going back to India in the fall. Before that I’ll come to you again, and I hope you’ll have your suitcases ready and travel with me. If you have made up your mind and said yes, then the better! But if you don’t make up your mind, come out of this air with me for a year, or maybe for half a year, with me. You can paint and ride with me, you can also shoot tigers or fall in love with Malay women – there are pretty ones – in any case you are a while away from here and can try whether it can not be lived better that way. What do you think?”
With his eyes closed the painter rocked his large, shaggy head with the pale face and the drawn-in mouth to and fro.
“Thank you!” He shouted, half smiling. “Thank you, it’s nice of you. I’ll tell you in the fall if I’ll come with you. Please leave the photographs for me. ”
“You can have it … But – – can’t you make up your mind about the trip today or tomorrow? It would be better for you. ”
Veraguth got up and went to the door.
“No, you, I can’t do that. Who knows what’s going to happen in the meantime! For years I have never been without Pierre for more than three or four weeks. I think I’ll travel with you, but I don’t want to say anything now that I could regret. ”
“Well, let’s leave it alone! I will always tell you where to find me. And if one day you telegraph three words that you are coming with me, you don’t have to lift a finger because of the trip. That’s my business then. From here You only take laundry and painting with you, but plenty, I’ll get everything else to Genoa. ”
Veraguth hugged him in silence.
“You helped me, Otto, I will never forget it. – Now I’ll have the car come, we’re not expected over there for meals today. And now we don’t want to do anything more than celebrate a nice day together, like we did before the summer holidays! We will drive overland, see a few beautiful villages and lie in the forest, we will eat trout and drink good country wine from thick glasses. What a brilliant weather we have today! ”
“It’s been the same for ten days,” laughed Burkhardt. And Veraguth laughed too.
“Oh, I feel like the sun has never shone like this for a long time!”