Chaos as hundreds battle to get “gifts for the dead” in HCM City

Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday around the Cho Lon area in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 5 to collect money thrown out by local families and companies during the Amnesty of Unquiet Spirits Festival.

Hundreds of people try to catch the money thrown out by local families and companies after the Amnesty of Unquiet Spirits Festival in District 5 in Ho Chi Minh City on September 5.

Amnesty of Unquiet Spirits Festival is widely-celebrated in Vietnam but more popular in the southern region on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, which fell on September 5 this year. On this day, souls are believed to return to their former homes while those homeless often wander around, so local people usually prepare offerings to their ancestors at home and then throw out money, rice, and salt to offer to the wandering souls.

As anticipated of the event, many people prepared nets and boxes attached to long canes to collect the small notes thrown down from the balconies.

Others used hats or tried to jump up high to catch the money.

Some fell down to the ground.

The streets were in chaos for about 15 minutes.


Some families had to hire guards to protect their houses from breaking-ins by the crowd to get the money.

War booty collected after a 10-minute battle

Two women who failed to get the money in the battle with stronger men, were given rice by local families.

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