As Lunar New Year approaches, families around the world are no doubt occupied with cleaning the house, arranging apricot and peach flowers, buying new clothes, selecting the Five Fruits, or delighting in rice cakes. Those who are more traditional are visiting ancestral tombs, paying off debts, or readying their kitchens to bid farewell to the Kitchen God. And in recent years, a lesser known, yet progressively more popular tradition is to participate in the annual Red Spring Festival (Le Hoi Xuan Hong).
The Red Spring Festival is hosted by the Vietnam Red Cross, the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, Tien Phong Newspaper, Viettel Company, and Ha Noi’s Youth Union. The Festival is a blood drive that takes place from Red Sunday (Chu Nhat Hong) (for 2012, this day falls on January 8th and is themed “Life of You and I” [“Sinh Menh Cua Ban va Toi”]) to the first day of Tet (January 23rd for 2012). Why a blood drive right before New Year? That is because hospitals usually face a blood shortage during the holiday. Afterall, most individuals are busy gathering with families, friends, and loved ones on Tet – not chatting with phlebotomists at blood banks.
Blood cannot be manufactured. It can only come from generous donors like you! One pint of blood can save up to three lives, and saving three lives is like building a twenty-one-storied pagoda. So, if you have not done so already, why not roll up your sleeves and head over to your nearest blood bank, no matter where in the world you live, to partake in the annual Red Spring Festival?