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Dao Cao Dai (Caodaism in English) is the third largest religion in Viet Nam (after Buddhism and Roman Catholicism). "Cao" means "high"; "Dai" means "palace". Caodai refers to the supreme palace where God reigns -- that is the Kingdom of Heaven. The word is also used as God's symbolic name.

Caodaism is a syncretistic religion which combines elements from many of the world's main religions, including Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, as well as Geniism, an indigenous religion of Viet Nam. Their main religious center is in Tay Ninh, about 60 miles (100 km) North West of Saigon. They currently have 7 to 8 million followers in Viet Nam and about 30,000 members elsewhere, primarily in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States.


LUNAR CALENDAR

Though today, people in Vietnam use the western calendar for most practical matters of daily life, the old system still serves as the basis for determining numerous seasonal holidays. This coexistence of two calendar systems has long been accepted by Vietnamese people. As with the Chinese, Vietnamese lunar calendar begins with the year 2637 B.C. It has 12 months of 29 or 30 days each, and the year totals 355 days.

A lunar month is determined by the period required for the moon to complete its full phasic cycle of 29 and a half days, a standard that makes the lunar year a full 11 days shorter than its solar counterpart. This difference is made up every 19 years by the addition of seven lunar months. The 12 lunar months are further divided into 24 solar divisions distinguished by the four seasons and times of heat and cold, all bearing close relationship to the yearly cycle of agricultural work.

Approximately every third year, an extra month is included between the third and fourth months. This is to reconcile the lunar calendar with the solar one.

Unlike our centuries of 100 years, the Vietnamese calendar is divided into 60-year periods called "Hoi". This "Hoi" or 60-year period is divided into two shorter cycles; one of a ten-year cycle and the other of a 12-year cycle.
Rat (ty): generous, social, insecure, idle
1924..... 1936..... 1948..... 1960..... 1972..... 1984..... 1996..... 2008
Buffalo (suu): stubborn, conservative, patient
1925..... 1937..... 1949..... 1961..... 1973..... 1985..... 1997..... 2009
Tiger (dan): creative, brave, overbearing
1926..... 1938..... 1950..... 1962..... 1974..... 1986..... 1998..... 1010
Cat (mao): timid, affectionate, amicable
1927..... 1939..... 1951..... 1963..... 1975..... 1987..... 1999..... 2011
Dragon (thin): egotistical , strong, intelligent
1928..... 1940..... 1952..... 1964..... 1976..... 1988..... 2000..... 2012
Snake (ty): luxury seeking, secretive , friendly
1929..... 1941..... 1953..... 1965..... 1977..... 1989..... 2001..... 2013
Horse (ngo): emotional, clever, quick thinker
1930..... 1942..... 1954..... 1966..... 1978..... 1990..... 2002..... 2014
Goat (mui): charming, good with money, indecisive
1931..... 1943..... 1955..... 1967..... 1979..... 1991..... 2003..... 2015
Monkey (than): confident, humorous, fickle
1932..... 1944..... 1956..... 1968..... 1980..... 1992..... 2004..... 2016
Rooster (dau): diligent, imaginative, needs attention
1933..... 1945..... 1957..... 1969..... 1981..... 1993..... 2005..... 2017
Dog (tuat): humble, responsible, patient
1934..... 1946..... 1958..... 1970..... 1982..... 1994..... 2006..... 2018
Pig (hoi): materialistic, loyal, honest
1935..... 1947..... 1959..... 1971..... 1983..... 1995..... 2007..... 2019