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Decoding the Significance of Rose Colors during Vu Lan Festival

The ritual of “”Rose on the Shirt”” during the Vu Lan festival has become a deeply humane and traditional cultural feature. It serves as a reminder to every child that, in the midst of life’s busyness and distractions, they should never forget to express gratitude to their parents who have toiled, cared, and sacrificed everything for them.

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On the Vu Lan festival day, people wear a rose on their chest as a gesture of gratitude to their parents, grandparents, and ancestors. During the full moon of the lunar July every year, households across Vietnam enter the season of Vu Lan, the season of filial piety. Those who visit the temples, regardless of age or gender, don’t forget to pause and pin a rose on their chest, silently reminding themselves of their parents’ contributions.

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Yellow Rose: Worn by monks and nuns. The monastics have renounced worldly life to live a monastic life. The color yellow represents liberation like boundless fertile fields, the color of the earth. Yellow is the color of wisdom, symbolizing letting go, detachment, and the attainment of liberation.

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Pale Pink Rose: Carries a subtle sadness as a pale pink flower on the shirt. For those “”roses,”” it is the sorrow of orphaned children who have lost one of their loved ones. Along each person’s journey to maturity, the red color fades away over the years, leaving only the pale pink.

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Red Rose: For those fortunate enough to still have both parents in their lives. It is a reminder of luck and pride in having both parents.

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White Rose: Reserved for those who have lost both parents, symbolizing remembrance and the separation of the living and the departed. White roses serve as a reminder that people have lost the most precious things in life, and therefore, they must live virtuously to bring peace to their departed loved ones.


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