Tag Archives: Ceremony

Ngày Đầy Tháng – Our Daughter’s One Month Celebration

31 Aug

You may have noticed a significant absence over the past 10 months. Most notably I left you hanging on our amazing trip to Vietnam.

I was working on a very important project that pretty much kept me out of the kitchen. Yesterday we celebrated the Đầy Tháng, or First/Full Month of our daughter, born late July. We are so over the moon, and I’m getting back in the kitchen.

But first, a little bit about this beautiful first month rite, as I’ve come to understand. Celebrating a baby’s first full month stems from traditional Vietnam where infant mortality was unfortunately quite common. It was considered back luck in inviting negative spirits if you named a baby before they made it to this important milestone. So traditionally, we would not have named our daughter until this event when our extended family would have come to meet her for the first time and share blessings for her future.

We set the table with sweet offerings and prepared incense to say prayers and thank the higher being for creating such a perfect life in our daughter. Even my parents shared in this, which was very special for me.

Mom and dad holding daughter in front of table set with offerings and food

The second part involved moving a flower over her mouth and stating our wishes for her future. My mother in law explained the significance as imparting the wishes to her and giving her the ability to clearly communicate such wishes for a successful future.

Her grandmother, or Ba Ngoai, went first — which reminds me I need to ask what she said!

Mother in law holding our daughter

Then I shared my wishes for our daughter, using a new flower.

Holding flower to daughter's lips and stating wishes for her future

Followed by my mother, who enjoyed being a part of the ceremony!

Maternal grandmother holding baby for ceremony

Once the incense burns down and offerings are made, it’s time to eat!

Incense sticks in front of ceremonial offerings and food

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Dam Hoi Vietnamese Engagement Ceremony Photos

20 Aug

I can’t think of many things more exciting than receiving a gallery full of beautiful photos from a recent event or trip. When I heard Hubs e-mail ding sound the other night I knew we received the gallery from our photographer, Katarina Price. Never mind that I was already in bed, I jumped out and fired up my laptop to click through photographs of our big day.

My last post on the dam hoi didn’t go in to a lot of detail about the ceremony, tradition and blessings of the day. I wanted to let the rich photographs share the story, so here you go. This is a long one, so warm up your lunch or pour a glass of rose and enjoy!

Bride and Groom holding ceremonial sake cups. Katarina Price Photography.

Katarina Price Photography. http://www.katarinaprice.com

Many more amazing photos after the jump!

Continue reading

Vietnamese Engagement Ceremony Planning

15 Mar

One of the things I am most excited about is the Dam Hoi, or Vietnamese Engagement Ceremony, which takes place one month before our American wedding. This is where the future-groom and his family come to my family’s house (where I’m supposed to still be living…oops), and bring gifts asking for my hand in marriage. This is the first time that our families would first meet, traditionally. Thuan has joked that I’m worth one pig. I hope it’s at least a Berkshire Heritage pig.

Although we’re blending traditions here, I am going to wear the traditional Ao Dai (ow yai), or Long Dress. This is fun because it can be in any color and style – totally up to the bride-to-be’s preference. My future mother- and sister-in-laws are helping in this process and I’m going to have my Ao Dai made in Vietnam. Unbelievably excited about this.

Vietnamese long dresses in a window

Unfortunately I’m going to get measured this weekend, less than a week after gorging on BBQ and tacos in Austin. But what can you do. Now I’m not giving away any secrets about the color, exact style, and such, but I am really excited to honor this tradition and incorporate his Vietnamese heritage to our marriage.  Continue reading

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