To an agriculture country like Vietnam, Parasite-Killing Festival is a meaningful occasion, with the purpose of preventing pestilence and disease as well as enhancing the prevention of evils and illnesses.
As known as Tet Doan Ngo in Vietnam, the festival is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month in Vietnamese Lunar calendar, coinciding with the day of Summer Solstice in Western Calendar — the time in the year when the sun is at its nearest position to earth. In old Vietnamese, Doan means the beginning, and Ngo means mid-day; therefore, the celebration of Tet Doan Ngo is at the middle of the day with the brightest sunshine —solar energy is at the maximum. The herbals harvested at this very moment are excellent in curing cold, itching or intestinal diseases. Hence, at the moment of ‘Doan Ngo’, people at the countryside go picking herbal leaves together.
As in any other festival, spiritual rites are among the indispensible part of the event. At every household, offerings to the spirit world are made as a means of commemorating ancestors. Besides, individuals eat sour foods such as orange, lemon, rice wine, and tro cake with the hope of cleaning their stomach and getting rid of illnesses.
TIME: 5th day of 5th lunar month
PURPOSE: enhance the prevention of pestilence, diseases and illnesses
ACTIVITIES: offerings, eating sour foods