This is southern Vietnam’s largest festival to a village’s own tutelary god. This rite is organized annually on the 18th and 19th of March (lunar calendar). Based on the current economic situation of the area, the organizers of the rite make it bigger and more joyous if things are well, or more intimate and solemn if fortune has not been smiling. The main purpose of the Ky Yen rite is to pray for peace, fortune and the future of the village. This is such a charming event that visitors to Ben Tre should try their best to see it.
Like other rites in Vietnam, the Ky Yen rite has two main sections: the worship and the festival. However, the worship of this rite is far more important than its festival, because it does not only worship the tutelary god, but also many other traditional gods of the area. The rite, therefore, has two purposes: one is to memorialize the hero that opened the south of Vietnam, and the other is to pray for a better life with good fortune. Like others, this rite is a time when local people come together, chat, play and have a good time. These activities serve to enhance the solidarity of the people, and help them relax after a hard day’s work.