Vietnam is a country located in Southeast Asia that is renowned for its rich and vibrant culture. It is home to a vast array of unusual and interesting customs, beliefs, and traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Here are the top 10 weirdest Vietnamese cultures that you may not have heard of before.
1. Cao Dai Religion – This is a unique religion that has a mixture of spiritual beliefs and practices. It was founded in the 1920s and is based on the teachings of several religions including Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Christianity. It is one of the most popular religions in Vietnam, with an estimated three million followers. The most distinctive feature of this religion is the colorful and elaborate Cao Dai temple in Tay Ninh. The temple is decorated with symbols of the religion as well as images of important figures from different faiths.
2. Ghost Marriage – This is a strange and ancient Vietnamese tradition in which a deceased person is married off to another deceased person in order to bring them good luck and blessings. This practice is believed to be beneficial for both families involved as it shows respect for the dead and helps to bring peace and harmony to their families.
3. Water Puppetry – Water puppetry is a traditional art form that has been practiced in Vietnam since the 11th century. It involves manipulating wooden puppets on a water-filled stage, with a narrator telling a story as the puppets move around. It is a popular form of entertainment in Vietnam and is often performed at festivals and celebrations.
4. Spirit Worship – Spirit worship is a common practice in Vietnam, in which people will make offerings to their ancestors or to other spirits in order to bring them luck and prosperity. Offerings could include food, incense, or even money. It is believed that these offerings will bring good fortune to the family.
5. Banh Chung – Banh Chung is a type of traditional Vietnamese cake that is made from glutinous rice, mung beans, pork, and other ingredients. It is usually wrapped in banana leaves and is served on special occasions such as the Lunar New Year. It is believed that eating this cake will bring luck and prosperity to the family.
6. The Cult of the Kitchen God – In Vietnamese culture, the Kitchen God is believed to be the guardian of the family and is responsible for protecting them from evil spirits. Every year, on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, families will offer prayers and offerings to the Kitchen God in order to bring them luck and protection.
7. The Cult of the Hoa Hao – The Hoa Hao is an indigenous religion that is based on Buddhism and is popular in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. Followers of the Hoa Hao believe in the power of prayer and practive the teachings of their faith through rituals such as meditation and fasting.
8. Fish Fighting – Fish fighting is a traditional sport in Vietnam that is believed to bring good luck. It involves two fish, usually carp, that are placed in a ring and then made to fight each other by their owners. It is believed that the winner of the fight will bring luck and fortune to their owner.
9. The Cult of the White Elephant – The White Elephant is an important symbol in Vietnamese culture, and is believed to bring luck and prosperity to those who worship it. It is also associated with the royal family and is often used in ceremonies and festivals.
10. The Cult of the Tiger – The Tiger is another important symbol of Vietnamese culture, and is believed to bring strength and courage to those who worship it. It is also associated with the royal family and is often used in ceremonies and festivals.
These are just some of the weirdest and most unique cultures that can be found in Vietnam. From bizarre religious practices to unique festivals and ceremonies, there is so much to explore in this fascinating country. So if you’re looking for a truly unique cultural experience, Vietnam is the perfect place to visit.