The picking buds custom

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Picking buds is one of the tradition that is widely practiced in Vietnam on Tet. This practice has root from an old legend in the history. It was said that: on a bright spring day thousands of years ago, Hung king called for all of his sons to say out his biggest will. He wanted the princes to go to different areas of the country, live there, and teach the people knowledge about farming, and other fields of life.

 The princes did not want to leave the palace since their parents are very old, and they wanted to take care of their health. As the queen knew her sons’ mind, she suggest an idea to the king; she wanted the king to carry out a ceremony to worship the earth and the sky, picking buds to give the princes, and whoever receive the buds of a land will go to live there.

The king thought that it would be a great idea: to let the gods decide his sons’ path. He chose a good day, and held a big ceremony on the top of Nghia Linh mountain to wish for a peaceful and prosperous new year to the whole country. After midnight, the king and the queen went to te forest to pick up the buds.

In the next morning, he called for the sons and gave each prince a branch of buds. He reminded the princes to carry the branches with them when leaving the palace since it will keep them from bad luck and bad spirits. The princes bowed to the king, and leave the palace, heading for their own destinations.

The custom of picking buds is still treasured years and years later, and became one of Vietnam’s cultural tradition on Tet. People would go to the pagodas or shrines after New year’s eve or on the first day of New Year for receiving a small branch of buds from big trees like banian tree. It is believed to bring about vitality, wealth, and luck to home throughout the following year.


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