Doan Ngo – Double Fifth Festival
According to Vietnamese custom, Doan Ngo is the second biggest festival and is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar Vietnamese calendar. Doan Ngo is the moment when the sun is nearest the earth.
Doan Ngo festival is also known as Tet Giet Sau Bo (the Parasite-Killing festival) or Doan Duong.
On the occasion of the Doan Ngo festival, Bánh Ú is often made by local people to worship ancestors and enjoy together.
In Southern provinces, there are two types of Bánh Ú that are often eaten during the Doan Ngo festival including Bánh Ú Lá Tre and Bánh Ú Bá Trạng.
Bánh Ú Lá Tre - Pyramid-shaped cake wrapped in bamboo leaves
According to the ancient grandparents, the fifth lunar month is the time when the weather is hot and humid. During this time, people are susceptible to diseases because of the weather.
Bánh Ú Lá Tre is made from natural ingredients that will have the effect of digestion, refreshment, and detoxification.
The way to make Bánh Ú Lá Tre is quite simple with few ingredients. However, the baker should be meticulous and patient.
Bánh Ú Lá Tre has dark yellow because the glutinous rice is soaked in ash water. Ash water is the important ingredient that makes the taste and color of Bánh Ú Lá Tre. Ash water is made from the burning straw, mixed with water to dissolve, and use the clear water to make cakes.
They use pureed green beans, sugar, jam and durian to create the aroma and richness for the filling.
The cake is wrapped in bamboo leaves and boiled in 4 hours. On the occasion of the Doan Ngo festival, everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the delicious and healthy cake.
Bánh Ú Bá Trạng - Ba Trang pyramidal glutinous rice cake
Bánh Ú Bá Trạng is often packed in a pyramid shape, the classic shape. The cake sometimes has square shape like Bánh Chưng. On Doan Ngo festival, Bánh Ú Bá Trạng is offering to ancestors as well as gifts to friends and relatives.
Bánh Ú Bá Trạng is similar to Bánh Ú Lá Tre, but a bit bigger, with more filling and highly-seasoned. The filling is mixed with green beans, eggs, dried shrimps, shiitake mushrooms, boiled peanuts, etc. Sticky rice is soaked with spices and herbs to enhance the flavor. Bánh Ú Bá Trạng is a combination of the sweetness of glutinous rice, the fatty taste of peanuts, the salty taste of dried shrimp, the aroma of sausages, the blend of pork, and salted eggs.
Each family has a traditional recipe, which makes a difference in the taste of the cake. Believe me, if you have tasted Bánh Ú Bá Trạng, you cannot forget the special taste of this cake.
Bánh Ú Lá Tre and Bánh Ú Bá Trạng are indispensable cakes for the occasion of Doan Ngo festival. Bánh Ú is not only a dish but also symbolizes the traditional customs of Vietnam over thousands of years.