Festival on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month. In Buddhism, this is a day of remission of sins (xá tội vong nhân). The Vu Lan festival is a vessel containing ritual offerings (the words are a phonetic transcription of the Sanskrit ultamban or avalambana).
What is the Vu Lan Festival?
Vu Lan offerings grant pardon to all beings and open the way to Buddhahood and enlightenment (see bridge of remission). The day of remission was also traditionally an occasion to show mercy and clemency for prisoners or convicts. With permission of the King of Hell (Diêm Vương), dead souls come back to the world of the living to enjoy earthly pleasures.
The Ceremony of Vu Lan Festival
Each family prepares a ritual meal for the ancestors and burns votive-paper objects. A ceremony is celebrated for the absolution of the souls of those who died a cruel death and of those who died without having a male child to continue ancestor veneration. These hungry souls are condemned to lead a wandering life in the world of shades. They are offered cheap things: boiled sweet potato, cassava, corn, grilled rice, rice cakes (bánh da), fruit, or rice porridge. These gifts are placed on leaves in the bushes or the corner of a garden so that old and weak souls do not have to struggle for their food among a crowd.
Vu Lan Festival 2021 is on on August 22nd, 2021.