Catching fire: Hanoi villagers bring home some luck with flaming ritual

Thanh Nien News

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For centuries people in An Dinh Village come together to have a holy bonfire and pray for a lucky year ahead


Young men wait with incense sticks outside the temple of An Dinh Village in Hanoi’s Ha Dong District the night of February 18 for a fire-sharing ritual, an event held at the beginning of the new lunar year. The villagers believe that if they bring home some of the fire from the temple, they will have a smooth and lucky year. 
 A woman says some prayers while preparing to catch the fire.
Many children like this 3-year-old boy are also brought to the event. 
 A village’s elder carries a torch out of the temple to share the holy fire with people.
The “holy” torch lights up a pile of votive objects in front of the temple. 
 People share the holy fire.
 A man quickly runs home to put the burning incense on his house altar.
The villagers also believe that the more fire they take, the more luck they will have. That explains the huge bunches of incense sticks. 
 The fire-sharing ritual lasts around 15 minutes.
You can find the original Vietnamese story here on Zing.

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