Religions and Beliefs

Before even talking about religion, I would have to tell you that every Vietnamese worships the cult of the ancestors. Every family owns an altar dedicated to them, usually in the place of honor in the central room of the house. It is often decorated with incense, photos, and things that these ancestors particularly liked, such as for example, fruits, alcohol and even cigarettes

EN3401lesreligionsThe worshipping of ancestors is based on the belief that the souls of the passed ones live on after death and protect their descendants. So, we pray to the ancestors, we worship them and we make offerings throughout the year to them.


The majority of the Vietnamese population declares to be Buddhist. The numerous pagodas dedicated to Buddha are the perfect illustration. However, do be careful! It is important not to confuse a Pagoda (chua) and a Temple (den). When pagodas accommodate a place to worship Buddha, temples are dedicated to guardian spirits and protective heroes. They are a sort of protecting divinities of a village or of a territory. Each profession has its own guardian, like the French ‘’Saints Patrons’’. The guardians can also be national heroes. This is the reason why we can find temples dedicated to Ho Chi Minh.


 Other cults are still worshiped, all of them according to an episode of occupation of the country:

Taoism and Confucianism under the Chinese occupation,

Christianity during Western relations,

Animism, Islam and Hinduism in small communities.