Danh du – swinging
Danh Du (Swinging) is a very traditional and interesting game held every Tet holiday. 2 tall poles are placed parallel on the ground, and the swing is tied to the 2 poles. The people in this game compete with others in pairs (may be 1 man 1 woman or a couple of women), and try to swing as high as possible to achieve the first place. The award is not too big, usually a bag of rice or some cakes and fruits, but achieving the first place in front of all villagers is considered a big honor for attendees.
Danh dao - Playing at chucking coins
This is a popular game for children and adults in Vietnamese villages. During the Lunar New Year, children can spend some of their lucky money given by adults to play folk games, especially danh dao. People can play the game on the ground. Based on the regulations, players have to make holes on the ground and the sizes of the holes can vary depending on the levels of the game. Players have to stand at the line to throw coins to their holes and win all the coins if the coins find their way into the holes.
Keo co - Tug-of-war
The traditional folk game is held at festivals and community events in the Red River Delta and the north-central region, especially Vinh Phuc, Bac Ninh and Hanoi, to highlight the teamwork spirit and pray for good weather and good harvest. In 2015, UNESCO acknowledged the tug-of-war of Vietnam as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, together with Cambodia, South Korea and the Philippines. This is the first multinational heritage also shared by Vietnam.
Dau vat - Wrestling
Wrestling is held during Lunar New Year holiday and major festivals in villages to nurture talent and encourage physical activity among local young men. Winners will get prize money, and a tray or pot made from bronze. Those who are able to make their rivals fall backwards or lift their rivals off the ground will win. It requires not only physical fitness but also cleverness of athletes.
Bit mat dap nieu - Breaking the earthenware pot
The game is quite popular in villages in the north of Vietnam. It is usually held in a temple’s yard or a spacious area. Earthenware pots are hung on a horizontal rope. Blindfolded players stand at a line 3 to 5 meters from the rope and use a stick to break an earthenware pot. There is a paper note inside the pot indicating a particular prize.
Hat bai choi – Tent Card Singing
Hat Bai Choi (Tent Card Singing) is the most famous traditional game in the Centre of Vietnam during Tet holiday. There are 11 tents in this unique game, 1 main tent in the middle for the referees and 5 tents for each side of the main one. The game starts when the referee randomly picks a card from 33 pieces of the whole card board. The referee then sings a riddle about the card and people in other tents must try to guest the name. Which tent gets the right name first will earn the card. If a tent gains 3 cards, it considered “achieve” and a traditional band will perform music to celebrate the success.
Co Nguoi - People Chinese Chess
Co Nguoi (People Chinese Chess) is a very unique form of Chinese Chess, the second most popular board game in the world. This interesting event is just held in Tet holiday due to its high cost of preparing. The rule is the same as regular Chinese Chess, but the game board is now the big yard, and the pieces of the chess are now played by people. Each people will dress like the name of his/her piece such as Tuong (General) has a long coat, some part of armor, a steel hat, Si (Advisor) dresses like an old officer, Tuong (Elephant) has a head of elephant, Phao (Cannon) has a small cannon made from wood, etc. Each team will have a Commander using a flag to lead his army. When a piece “eat” another, the two people perform like fighting, and the eaten piece will leave the playground. Another from of this game is people holding tables with the name of the pieces, in order to save the budget since the cost of preparing 32 dresses is sometimes too high with the village.