Votive paper offering traders earn big profits during July festival
  • By Phuc Yen | | August 21, 2013 03:03 PM
 >>  Offices emptied before the traditional July festival

A large number and variety of votive paper offerings are sold in the streets for the occasion of Vu Lan and the Amnesty of Unquiet Spirits Festival, bringing traders big profits.


High-grade vovite paper products attract customers

This kind of product needs no advertisement, marketing or quality control, but they always attract a lot of buyers.

Many of them resemble desirable objects, such as computers or designer handbags.

The days of Vu Lan and the Amnesty of Unquiet Spirits are celebrated on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month. The month is devoted to the spirits of the dead. Vu Lan is more popular in the southern region and is traditionally considered an important event in praise of motherly love.


Luxury clothes and shoes 

In some southern areas those with living mothers will wear red flowers, while those whose mothers are deceased will wear white ones.

In the north, the 15th night of the seventh lunar month is the day when wandering souls with no relatives in the human world can ask for pardon and are offered a path to heaven. On this day, people pay homage to their ancestors to express filial piety, also burning votive offerings to hungry, wandering souls.

In real life, business is booming for those who sell these paper items. 


Luxury scooters 

It is not uncommon to see Gucci shoes, expensive laptops, luxury motorbikes and even cars sold at stalls during this time, charging as much as VND300,000 (USD14.2)

Vu Quang Tu, the owner of one votive paper shop, said that several of his customers made very specific requests. For example, one customer wanted a six-metre ship made of paper to burn for her son who attended Vietnam Maritime University and died in a traffic accident. She also wanted a life-sized Honda motorbike. The two items cost her nearly VND10 million (USD476).

Annually, dozens of tonnes of paper are used to make votive paper offerings in Vietnam.

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