- What is the concept of a holiday in your country?
Well, generally the concept of Holiday in Vietnam is similar to the other countries. People on this day get an off from their professional activities. Currently, there are 10 public holidays available in the country.
I think you are aware that before 2007, there were eight days in a year and following the government’s directives two days have been increased and the number of days off has turned into 10. People of all class, especially who are engaged in occupational activities, get the day off. They usually spend the day with their family and friends. Sometimes, they enjoy the day by celebrating different events and festivals. But sometimes the festivals are celebrated for about a month. The aim of the festivals and events is to entertain the common people. When the Vietnamese people work, they work at a stretch for longer hours and accordingly they get tired. So, they are in great need of relaxation while the festivals and events are organised on the holidays so that they could enjoy the events completely. The festivals in my Vietnam are colourful and attract people of all ages. Mostly the holiday festivals and events are organised marking the memories of countrymen and patriots who have contributed much to the country. Those are better known as ceremonial rites. Besides, the other holiday activities are known as entertaining activities for the citizens and also the people travelling inside the country participate. The holidays in the country include the International New Year Day, Lunar Year Festival, Tet etc.
- Why are holidays so important to modern people?
Great question to answer. In fact, this is a fast-paced age. Everything is moving ahead of time and we need to keep pace. At times we are to race against time to serve our purposes. Consequently, getting affected by stress, anxiety and other mental disorders has turned into a common matter for all. So, the modern people need holidays. You know, working for around 8-10 hours a day has some negative impacts on body and mind of the employees. And if they work round the week, certainly they are to suffer from the disorders and it is seen that when they are going through the situations, productivity level reduces to a great extent. They cannot provide the desired output which results in a loss for the companies or corporations they are working for. Thus, the necessity of the holiday cannot be described in words. It helps them to regain vitality. After passing one or two days without any work, they regain the energy which boosts their production level. Besides, when they are at the office, it becomes impossible to maintain the societal responsibilities and rules. Sometimes the busy people even cannot afford time for their family. When they are passing the day offs, they can reconnect with the relations they have in the society or community or can pass quality times with their family and friends. Everything is turning mechanised and similarly, the impacts are falling on the modern people. They are also being like machines and the holidays help them to get relief from the mechanised world.
- Do you think it is necessary to observe the traditional customs?
Hmm! Yes, it is important to observe or follow the traditional customs. This is the root of all people and it is imperative for them to abide by all the traditional rules. In fact, it takes them back to the people and culture they belong to. The traditional cultures and customs are the identity for oneself. It creates a sense of self-respect inside. For instance, when you will follow or perform any of your native rituals, you will feel a deep satisfaction inside. Whatever the ritual or custom is, it will make you mentally stronger. It will make you believe that you are not alone in the world. You are with your community. Your community is always there to be with you in every situation. It helps to strengthen the bond between you and your community. But if you do not follow the traditional rituals or customs, it should be considered as a bad luck for you. It points that you do not have a good linkage with your community and thereby you are unaware of the traditional customs. In some cases in Vietnam, the matter is considered as shameful for people if they cannot perform traditional customs. It is also marked as a specimen of their weak linkage with the society. So, I think it is necessary to perform the traditional rituals or at least people should be least familiar with the activities so that they do not get embarrassed before the community during the performance if they are asked to.
- What changes in terms of spending festivals and holidays have taken place in the past decade?
Well, there are lots of changes in the trends of celebrating festivals. Earlier, people used to celebrate the holidays with their friends and almost all the activities were out of the home. But currently, the celebrations have involved the family members as well in line with the friends. Besides, the celebrations are taking place in indoor spaces too. When it was about the national rituals or traditional celebration in the past, people used to gather in open spaces and still they do the same for such large events like observing the International New Years Day, or the celebration of the Lunar Year etc. Small-scale celebrations did not take place in the past decades but now they have covered a notable space in the lives of the people. The majority of the people like to celebrate small-scale events at their homes like birthday or marriage day celebration etc. But when it is a national issue, the celebrations are made in large scale and people of all strata participate in those events. In the past decades, the concept of private parties was absent but now they have emerged as an influential element to pass holiday. Many of the modern citizens arrange for private parties at different times, especially on the holidays.
- What is the difference as regards celebration in different parts of the country?
Umm! In fact, there are some differences found regarding the celebrations. But those differences are not too much important to consider and they are not harmful actually. Usually, the differences take place for regional cultures but all the other primary methods remain the same. The theme of the celebrations cannot be changed rather the celebration systems slightly differ from place to place in Vietnam. Besides, some of the festivals take place in some of the parts of the country while those are not found in other parts. Take an example- the parts of Vietnam that grow paddy or other crops usually celebrate the Autumn Festival of harvest festival while the other parts do not celebrate as the regions do not grow the crops. Usually, the activities of any festival include social gathering, taking meals together, praying and thanksgiving to each other. It is evident that all the things are same but the food menu may get changed based on regions which may seem unusual or the indicator of difference. So, neither the differences are huge nor those are made in such manners that may alter the celebration meaning to others. The slight differences could be adjusted and already people have adapted them to their lifestyle.