vietnam travel covid 19 updates

Stay updated with the latest news of the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam and information for traveling to Vietnam. Read more here.

Vietnam Travel Information

i Tour Vietnam | Top-rated private Ho Chi Minh City tours and Vietnam travel guides.

What to Know about Joss Paper Burning in Vietnam

joss-paper-burning Joss Paper Burning

Vietnam features some of the Asian traditions that sometimes confuse visitors, especially people from Western countries. In this article, we will decode one of the most popular rituals for you - ghost money or joss paper burning.

What Is Joss Paper Burning and Its Cultural Value?

joss paper burning 1

Joss paper symbolizes valuables such as gold and money

joss paper burning ipad

Joss papers now also mimicks jewelry, watches, and even iPad

Joss papers are papers made with specific patterns, colors, and symbols to imitate valuables such as money, gold, or even houses, and cars. The act of burning them is believed to create a link to the afterlife, sending all of the offerings to the deceased family members.

Joss paper burning has evolved into a common ritual in Vietnam, which can be found in just about every household. Vietnamese firmly believe that the after-world resembles the world of the living. So people burn joss paper in hopes that their ascendants would have a better life. This presents filial piety: to pay respect and take care of family members, even in their afterlife.

The Origin of Joss Paper Burning in Vietnam

joss paper burning 2

Joss paper burning is a ritual adopted from China

The practice of joss paper burning dates back to the Qin Dynasty in China, or maybe before that. The imitated treasures were first buried with the dead, then converted to burning for worshipping, but the belief remained. Vietnam adopted it during the 1000-year colonization, along with other Chinese cultural traditions such as calligraphy arts.

When Do Vietnamese Burn Joss Paper?

joss paper burning 4

Locals burning joss papers and paying offerings at Phu Tay Ho in Hanoi

Joss paper is burned in funerals, on death anniversaries, on special occasions such as Tet holiday, the Day of the Dead (March 3rd in the Lunar Calendar) and the full moon days (usually the 15th, 16th, and 17th day) of the Lunar July (month of forsaken spirits). If you want to witness the ritual, visit temples and pagodas in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh during the mentioned days. In case you know a local, ask them whether you can join his family for a closer look.

Where to Find Joss Paper in Vietnam?

joss paper burning 5

A typical joss paper stall in Vietnam

Joss paper burning is such a common practice in Vietnam that you can easily find vendors selling ghost money throughout the country. Just head to local wet markets, you should find at least one joss paper stall there. Each basic set, consisting of gold, silver, and money, only costs about VND 15,000 - VND 20,000.

See Top Local Markets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

If you want to see the process of making joss paper, go to Nguyen Duy and Ba Dinh streets in District 8 in Ho Chi Minh. Here concentrates a large number of family businesses producing ghost money for the whole city. For those in Hanoi, you can visit Phuc Am Village, a traditional craft village known for joss-paper making, that locates only 30 kilometers away from the city center.

How to Burn Joss Paper

Joss paper burning occurs after paying worship, meaning that there should be a tray containing food (usually savory dishes and sometimes sweets) and drinks (water, wine, and tea) first. Then you burn incenses. Afterward comes this ritual. The joss papers used in each kind of worshipping are different, but the sellers will provide pre-selected sets based on your purpose.

Joss paper burning isn’t about speed, it’s about keeping the ghost money intact so that your ancestors can receive them in one piece. Start by building a fire with small sheets, then add bigger ones as the fire grows. Pray while you watch the paper burns. To avoid scattering the ashes everywhere, get the help of an enclosed burner.

joss paper burning 3

Burn joss paper only after you've paid worship

Our Conclusion on Joss Paper Burning in Vietnam

Joss paper burning is more than a ritual to Vietnamese, it creates a spiritual connection between the living and the dead, and expresses our respect and love to the ancestors. However, recently the act has been criticized for emitting harmful substances into the air. Though we still don't know what's next for joss paper burning but for now, it's still a meaningful ritual to Vietnamese.

Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
for fun and insightful trips in Ho Chi Minh City!

family outing in ho chi minh city motorcycle

You may also like:

Vietnam Folk Religion

Vietnamese Superstitions

Copyright

© Written by Dung Tran for itourvn.com

11
×
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Friday, 07 October 2022

Captcha Image

 

About itourvn.com

This Vietnam travel information page is written by a team of professional tour guides in Vietnam. More about us or visit home page

Private Ho Chi Minh Tours

private ho chi minh tours

All tours are private, customizable, and led by professional English-speaking guides. For more reference, read our customer reviews or see below for the tour package in Ho Chi Minh that works for you.

Half-day City Tour

Night Tour

Food Tour

Saigon's Other Side

Shore Excursions

Vietnam Travel Information

Check out the necessary information for traveling to Vietnam

First Time in Vietnam

To Pack List for Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Adaptors

Major Cities in Vietnam

Family & Elderly Travel

LGBT Travel

Vietnam Festivals and Holidays

Best Vietnamese Dishes

UNESCO World Heritage in Vietnam

Responsible Travel in Vietnam

Vietnamese Culture

Religions in Vietnam

Ethnicities in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam

Vietnamese Currency Guide

Best Dishes to Try in Vietnam

20 Must-try Vietnamese Dishes

Unusual Foods to Try in Vietnam

Street Food in Vietnam

Vietnamese Grilled Dishes

Rice Dishes in Vietnam

Pho Dishes in Vietnam

Holiday Dishes to Try during Tet Holiday

Chinese Dishes in Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Northern Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Central Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Southern Vietnam

What to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

What to Eat in Hanoi

What to Eat in Hue

What to Eat in Hoi An

What to Eat in Da Lat

What to Eat in the Mekong Delta

Traveling to and within Vietnam

Airport Arrival Tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh)

Airport Arrival Tips at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)

Major Airports in Vietnam

Taking Trains in Vietnam

Bringing your Motorbikes on Trains in Vietnam

Bringing Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Bringing Your Pets to Vietnam

How to Take Motorbike Taxis

Taking a Ferry in Vietnam

Renting a Car in Vietnam

How to Travel from Hanoi to Da Nang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Hue

How to Travel from Hanoi to Sa Pa

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mai Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Moc Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Cao Bang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai

How to Travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc Island

How to Travel from Da Nang to Hoi An

How to Travel from Hue to Phong Nha

Vietnam Travel Itineraries

Vietnam One-month Itinerary

Vietnam One-week Itinerary

Taking a Gap Year in Vietnam

Backpacking in Vietnam

Expat Tours in Vietnam

Honeymoon in Vietnam

Vietnam Visa, SIM Cards, and WiFi

Visa Info & Where to Buy Sim Cards

Traveling with Wifi in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Safety Tips

Travel Insurance

Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

How to Avoid Mosquitoes

Food Safety in Vietnam

Getting Vaccinations

Common Diseases and How to Prevent

Wearing Face Masks in Vietnam

Can Tourists Drive in Vietnam?

How to Avoid Scams

Travel Safety Tips

Best Places to Stay in Vietnam

Deluxe Hotels in Vietnam

Best Hotels in Ho Chi Minh

Best Hotels in Hanoi

Where to Stay in Ha Long Bay

Where to Stay in Mai Chau

Where to Stay in Moc Chau

Where to Stay in Ha Giang

Where to Stay in Cao Bang

Where to Stay in Lang Son

Where to Stay in Sa Pa

Where to Stay in Mu Cang Chai

Where to Stay in Kon Tum

Where to Stay in Da Lat

Where to Stay in Mui Ne

Where to Stay in Hoi An

Homestays in Vietnam

Find more hotels to stay in Vietnam below:

 
Powered by 12Go Asia system