South Viet Nam: The Devils of Tef

The Vietnamese festival of Tet combines the qualities of Christmas and the end of Ramadan, the Hindu feast of lights and the pagan rites of spring. To welcome the Lunar New Year, Vietnamese housewives last week prepared mounds of hanh chung — rice cakes covered with a stew of pork fat, pickled onions and rancid fish sauce. Fathers wrapped money in red paper for the children and raised the cay neu, a 30-ft. bamboo pole topped with offerings of betel nuts to propitiate the spirits. Before Tet begins, the good spirits of forest...

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