Banh Trang or ‘girdle cake’ is an integral part of Tet to Vietnamese people, especially those living in the Mekong Delta. In the run up to the Lunar New Year, the atmosphere in Thanh Hung girdle cake village in Giong Rieng district, Kien Giang province gets heated as locals hurry to make enough cakes to provide for consumers during the holiday.

Founded more than 80 years ago, Thanh Hung girdle cake village has 80 households still maintaining the traditional trade.

Preparation starts at the beginning of the 12 th lunar month, with all production facilities stocked up with ingredients, including rice flour, copra and fuel to make more cakes than on an average day. Therefore, locals’ income also increases.

“We prepare enough rice and fuel for the orders we receive. We also employ more labourers than usual,” said Nguyen Hoang Liem from Thanh Hung commune, Giong Rieng district.

Thanh Hung girdle cake is famous for its delicious taste. On these days, more and more dealers come to this trade village to order huge quantities of this kind of cake. The product will travel to all localities across the Mekong Delta region, in particular, An Giang, Ca Mau and Bac Lieu provinces. It is mainly used to make spring rolls.

“On Tet days, we can sell more girdle cakes than normal days as consumer demand is higher,” said Le Thi Nga, Thanh Hung commune, Giong Rieng district.

The trade of making girdle cake not only helps locals get out of poverty and improve their lives, but also maintains a traditional cultural identity of Vietnamese people.-VNA