Thousands scramble for luck amid chaos in Vietnam's Mekong Delta

By Quynh Tran   March 4, 2018 | 12:01 pm GMT+7

Locals in Long An Province let loose at a festival with sacred offerings up for grabs.

Locals in Tam Vu Town of Long An Province jump on each other to get at least one piece from the offerings at their towns temple on Saturday night, the final day of a three-day festival on the 14th, 15th, 16th of the first lunar month, as they believe that what they get will bring them luck for a new year.

Locals in Tam Vu Town in Long An Province climbed all over each other on Saturday night as they battled to get at least one piece of the offerings made at their town’s temple on the final day of a three-day festival on the 14th, 15th, 16th of the first lunar month.

This festival is dedicated to this God, known as Tieu, who is believed to have the power to eliminate all demons and bad souls.

This festival is dedicated to a god known as Tieu, who is believed to have the power to capture demons and bad souls.

The ritual to worship the God starts around midnight and by 10 p.m., thousands of young men have gathered around the temple, shouting for joy while waiting for the ritual to finish so that they can rush in for the offerings.

The ritual started at around midnight, and thousands of people, mostly young men, gathered around the temple waiting for the ritual to finish so they could start the mad scramble in for the offerings.

When the clock ticks at 12:00 a.m., the Gods effigy is burn to indicate that all the souls have been salvaged.

When the clock hit midnight, an effigy of Tieu was set alight to indicate that all the souls had been rescued.

These young men reach their hands out for some offerings. Locals here believe that the offerings at this festival are sacred and can bring them luck and at the same time, for them, this annual activity is so much fun.

These young men reached out for offerings. Locals believe that they are sacred and can bring them luck, while at the same time the event is "so much fun”.

As soon as the Gods effigy is burned down, the crowd immediately trample down the makeshift fence that is set up temporarily for the festival to jump into the temples yard for the offerings. Trampling the fence is not a spontaneous or unthoughtful act of local people but a tradition of this festival, explains Nguyen Van Bach, 68.

As soon as the effigy had disintegrated, the crowd trampled down a makeshift fence to rush into the temple’s yard for the offerings. “Trampling the fence is not a spontaneous act or unthoughtful, it's a tradition,” explained Nguyen Van Bach, 68.

Young men turn down tables so that people can easily get the offerings.

Young men turned over tables so that people could find the offerings, which included cakes, candies, snacks and flowers.

This year is the year of the dog so this dogs effigy is very valuable, explaining why these men want to have it so bad.

This year is the year of the dog, so this effigy of a dog is very valuable, which explains why these men were fighting for it.

After 20 minutes when the chaos finally comes to an end, these people move in to pick up whatever others left behind. Phuong, the man with the bag, says people do not starve for these cakes and snakes but just want to bring them home for luck and prosperity.

After 20 minutes when the chaos finally came to an end, these people moved in to pick up whatever was left behind. Phuong, the man with the bag, said people take them home for luck and prosperity.

Quynh Giao, 17, says she chooses flowers and traditional cakes that can be kept for several days to put them on the altar at her home for worshiping and decoration at the same time.

Quynh Giao, 17, said she chose flowers and traditional cakes that she could keep for several days on the altar at home.

 
 
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