Celebrating traditional festivals helps keep children connected to their community and culture. On the third day of the third lunar month, Vietnamese celebrate Tet Han Thuc or Cold Foods Festival. Children all over Vietnam, but especially in the north, enjoy making Banh Troi or “floating cakes” on this special day. The children in our three Homes enjoyed making and eating these tasty cakes.
The Home staff shared the festival legends with the children and taught them about the Troi cake ingredients. This was the first Cold Food Festival celebrated by Ngoc (photo below), one of 15 new children who have been admitted to the Children’s Homes since September 2021. Unlike most other Vietnamese children, Ngoc has never made a Troi cake. She was so excited to be able to create the beautiful round cakes with a lump of palm sugar inside. Elder sisters in the Home helped to boil the cakes and brothers sprinkled on the toasted sesame seeds. The end result was the sweet smell of “floating cakes” beautifully displayed on round plates. The children enjoyed eating floating cakes made by their own hands.
Floating cakes are really round and very pleasing to the eye. I also heard stories about floating cakes. That’s interesting and amazing to me!