Vietnamese parent opten said that worshiping around the year is not as important as at the time of Vu Lan festival celebration, which Vu Lan Festival is held every year on the full moon in July (5th of 7th lunar month).
This festival is called the 7th full moon festival (Parents’ Day) or “ ngày Xá Tội Vong Nhân” (Wandering Soul’s Day). After the lunar New Year (Tet) festival, Vu Lan festival is the second largest annual traditional festival of Vietnam.
In Vietnamese tradition custom, the seventh lunar month is believed to be the time wandering souls are returning to their former homes.
Ancient legend has told that: Muc Kien Lien is a Buddha’s disciple who saw his mother suffering from hell’s tortures. And following Buddha’s advice, on the seventh full moon of the year, he gathered monks and devotees to pray for his mother’s relief. From now, such gathering has become an annual festival to express gratitude towards parents and ancestors.
During the festival, people visit pagodas and temples to worship, burn incense and offer votive to their ancestors and wandering souls. And they prepare offerings of food, clothes, votive papers and release animals such as: bird, fish… They also buy presents and flowers to show their deep love and gratitude towards their parents.
Many people go to pagoda on this festival days, wearing either a red rose if their parents are alive or a white rose if their parents have passed away. Rose flower is a symbol of love and gratitude shown by every family towards their ancestors.
Nowadays, the 7th full-moon festival is not only a chance for guilty homeless spirits to be pardoned but also an opportunity for children to express their gratitude towards their parents and those people who have performed glorious deeds!