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Very Superstitious: 3 Popular Vietnamese Superstitions

As is the case in many cultures, superstition plays an important role in our society. It can dictate when to take a vacation, how to do business and even cure bad luck. In this monthly column, we take a closer look at common Vietnamese superstitions, starting with fetus eggs, the first day of Tet and best business practices.

1) The first day of Tet

 

Image via orichinese.com.

The first day of the Vietnamese New Year is a very important day for most traditional families. They believe that everything must be cleaned before this day arrives as a tardy cleanse can sweep away all of the family’s good luck and prosperity. They are even concerned with who should first set foot in their house on the first day of Tet. Apparently, it should be someone whose lunar birth year does not rival the owner’s. For example, people born in the year of the Tiger, Monkey, Snake or Pig will probably not be welcomed at one another’s house on that day.

 

2) How to remedy bad business

Image via anh.eva.vn.

The commencement of anything seems excessively important to many Vietnamese. To many superstitious street vendors, the success of their day is determined by how it starts and by their first customer. When you are the first person to come by their cart and you do not buy anything, they might consider you a harbinger of bad luck. To redeem it, they would burn a piece of paper and wave or hop over it nine times, as to clear the air and burn out all hovering, ill-fated karma. There are other practices that can ensure good luck as well, such as scattering rice grains and salt.

 

3) Reverse your bad luck with fetus eggs from a duck

Image via synapse.ucsf.edu.

They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is said that eating duck fetus eggs can help bring back good luck, assuming you’re in a deficit. If you’re having a bad day, eat one of these embryotic delicacies and you will be right with the world. But beware, only eat them in odd numbers or else the bad luck will return!

Why in odd numbers? In Vietnamese, the word "fetus eggs" is "hot vit lon" and "lon" means reverse – hence if you eat one egg, it will turn your bad luck back to good. Eat another and it reverses back to bad luck. Who would have thought that superstition comes with logical mathematics?

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