Banh Chung - Vietnamese Tet's Holiday TRADITIONAL CUISINE

“Fatty meat, onions, red couplets

Tet’s pole, firecrackers, green Banh Chung”

Those are a couple of familiar couplets whenever commencing the most typical features of Vietnamese New Year from many generations. In particular, the green banh chung has become a symbol of traditional cuisine every New Year of the whole nation and known by friends all over the world.

For Vietnamese people, every Tet comes back in Spring. In the house without banh chung, it will definitely lack the Tet atmosphere. Every day by Tet, Vietnamese families have the customs of wrapping banh chung like maintaining a long-standing traditional culture. In addition, Vietnamese people also pack banh chung on Hung Vuong's Death Anniversary every year on March 10th of lunar calendar.

According to the concept from ancient times, Vietnamese banh chung has a square shape, representing the land. The banh chung is made from white glutinous rice with a filling of green beans, fatty meat, onion, pepper, etc. All wrapped in a layer of green dong leaves and fastened by soft fibers with a beautiful and sightly square shape.

Banh Chung (Source: Internet)

Very long time ago, Vietnamese people have lived in the wet rice culture and depended on nature too much. Therefore, the banh chung in a Tet tray contains the meaning of showing gratitude to heaven and earth for the good rain and wind for a rich crop, bringing a prosperous life for people. Not only that, but Tet’s banh chung are also displayed on the altar to show the respect of children and grandchildren to the ancestors and the deceased. Banh chung is also a meaningful Tet gift that Vietnamese people often use to present to their acquaintances, relatives or simply displayed with other items on a tray of five fruits on Tet holiday to show the mutual compatibility in the five elements.

Banh Chung (Source: Internet)

Seeing banh chung is seeing Tet! So, no matter where or do what, Vietnamese always look forward to returning to their family, wrapping a banh chung or sitting by a hot, boiling pot on the fire to feel the Tet atmosphere coming back. Telling to each other about old stories and inhale the aroma blended with dong leaves, sticky rice with yellow flowers and the sweet taste of green beans, the greasy taste of the flesh in the banh chung, which is unmistakable for Tet.