The story of Banh Chung and Banh Day in Vietnamese New Year...
There was a time when an emperor named Hung ruled the land. This king had come to old age and had been on the throne for many years. The king noticed that his health was weakening as each day went by and he wanted to pass on the throne. All of his wives had given birth to a total of twenty two sons.
Each child has already grown up to full adulthood and the king thought, "If you talk about talent there are numerous among them that surface. For this reason I have to be very careful about who is chosen. I need to especially find a way to prevent the kids from fighting for the throne." Those are the thoughts that occupied the emperor.
In the end, the king remembered what he had learned during his long life and decided that he would start a competition. He decided that the winner of a contest would get the throne. Emperor Hung immediately gathered all the princes together. When the princes finally came together, the king proclaimed,
"Father knows that he is getting nearer the dirt and farther from the sky (he is getting near his death). I want to give my throne to one of my children. Now each of you has to find or make a unique food dish as a tribute to the ancestors. Whoever has the best food with a meaningful description, I will choose that person."
After hearing their king father say this, all the princes that were competing with one another sent their people everywhere to find the most prized dishes. They searched from the highest mountains to the depth of the oceans, not leaving any place untouched. Any dishes that were well known and strange, the princes would go out of their way to find them.
Within the twenty two princes there was a prince named Lieu, the eighteenth son. Because he lost his mother at a young age, Lieu spent most of his time alone. During the whole time when all of the other princes were running around rampantly trying to find a delicacy Lieu was lying around his house since there was no one to help him with this case.
There were only three more days until the deadline and yet Lieu still did not have anything. That night, Lieu lay back with his arm across his forehead trying to remember each meal he had ever come across in the past. Lieu kept concentrating on the matter until he fell asleep without even realizing it.
Lieu drifted off into sleep and noticed that he and his twenty one other brothers were each making his own cake in a contest. Each person has his own individual small house that the king had built by the pond. Lieu found himself not knowing where to start when suddenly a goddess descended from the sky, flying down just to help him make his cake.
"Big or small on this earth cannot even be compared to the heaven above; the most treasured jewel in this world is not as valuable as rice. You do not have to do much; only two meaningful cakes will be enough. Take all the rocks and anything that are with the rice out so that I can start preparing the rice and then go and find me beans." (This is probably why Vietnamese people are crazy about eating rice.)