Celebration of longevity is a time-honoured tradition in Vietnam, showing the important role of the elderly in society.

The celebration is usually held on the occasion of the Lunar New Year or on the birthday of the honoured person. The first longevity celebration is observed when a person turns 70, then on the 80-, 90- and 100-year-old milestones.

According to popular belief, the greatest three blessings in a person’s life are Good Luck, Wealth and Longevity. Families with elderly are considered to be blessed, and children and grandchildren are happy and proud to see their parents and grandparents live long into old age.

Celebrations of longevity are usually held at home, to be an occasion for children and grandchildren to pay respect to and express gratitude to their parents and grandparents.

In recent years, mass organizations such as the Association of the Elderly and the local governments also hold solemn ceremonies to honour old people in the locality. At the same time, a movement called “Silk Blouse to Grandmother” initiated by the Ho Chi Minh Pioneer Youth Union has become popular across the nation.

The custom has kept its value in modern society particularly in the context that the life expectancy in Vietnam is increasing, reaching 73 at present.-VNA