Church & Society

Vietnamese Catholics provide traditional Tet treat for poor January 29, 2019

With Vietnam’s Tet or Lunar New Year festival fast approaching, some parishes are preparing banh chung, a traditional glutinous rice cake eaten during the festival, and offered to the poor.

Banh chung is made from sticky rice, mung bean, fatty pork, green onions and spices. It is wrapped in banana or other kinds of leaves. 

The cake, which is square shaped and represents the Earth, is regarded as a quintessential Tet dish and is often placed on family altars in order to honor ancestors and as an offering so that they support the family over the next year. 

Older people say they want to preserve the traditional ways of making the cake because many young people do not know how to make it. 

Starting on the same day as Chinese New Year, Tet is the most important festival in Vietnam. It runs from Feb. 4-8 this year. 

Photos by reporter.

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