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Ancestor Worship

Vietnamese ancestor worship dates from before the arrival of Confucianism or Buddhism. Ancestor worship is based on the belief that the soul lives on after death and becomes the protector of its descendants. Because of the influĀ­ence the spirits of one's ancestors exert on the living, it is considered not only shameful for the spirits to be upset or restless, but downright dangerous. Traditionally , the Vietnamese worship and honour the spirits of their ancestors regularly, especia ly on the anniversary of their death. To request help for success in business or on behalf of asick child, sacrifices and prayers are given to the ancestra l spirits. Imp ortant worship elements are the family altar and a phot of land whose income is setaide for the support of the ancestors.