This spring festival in Vietnam is all about sex

By VnExpress   February 8, 2017 | 04:00 am PT
This spring festival in Vietnam is all about sex
A couple holds a wooden phallus and a wooden female orifice during the fertility festival in Phu Tho Province. Photo by Vietnam News Agency
The traditional fest celebrates procreation as locals pray for bumper crops.

If you think that Vietnamese are shy, think again.

The country has a festival where sexuality and procreation are celebrated.

The fertility festival, named “Tro Tram” or “Linh tinh tinh phoc,” is held in Mieu Tro Village, the northern province of Phu Tho every 12th day of the lunar year, which fell on Wednesday this year.

During the main ceremony at Du Di Temple, all candles and lights are turned off. In the darkness, a happy married couple stands before an altar holding wooden representations of sexual organs. Locals believe there will be good crops if the gods see the symbolic act of penetration, three times.

Traditionally, real sex acts would follow after the ceremony. There are tales of young men and women having sex until the next morning. Couples who could deliver a baby nine months later would be rewarded.

But now, the villagers are no longer doing that. Young couples simply just chase each other around the temple.

Fertility symbols and rituals are a major part of Vietnam's traditional culture, but it is rare to have a long-lasting festival that proudly celebrates sex acts, even though just symbolically.

The culture ministry has recently recognized the festival as part of the national cultural heritage that must be preserved.

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