The Cold Food Festival (Tết Hàn Thực) is a festival day on the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month. “Hàn Thực” means “cold food”. This traditional New Year day appears in some provinces of China, northern Vietnam and some Chinese ethnic communities around the world.
On The Cold Food Festival, all family’s members, even living or working far from home will come home to make “banh troi” and “banh chay” together. “Banh troi” and “banh chay” are two traditional food of Tet Han Thuc in Vietnam. “Banh troi” are spheres made of glutinous rice flour with piece of sugar inside. “Banh chay” are bigger than “banh troi” and have sweet green bean paste inside instead of piece of sugar. After all have been done, “banh troi” and “banh chay” will be put on a tray on altar to offer ancestor. The householder will burn incense to invite ancestor enjoy Cold Foods Festival with family. When the liturgy of ancestor worship ended, all family will eat “banh troi” and “banh chay” together. “Banh troi” is usually added some coconut fibers and sesame; “banh chay” is associated with sweet broth.
Although the legend of that festival in China is to remember Gioi Tu Thoi a loyalty madarin in the dynasty of King Tan Van Cung, the festival in Vietnam is not related to that legend. We are found that day as a day to remember ancestor and for family gathering.