Vietnamese New Year, or called is Tet is one of the most important festival in Viet Nam. Tet is celebrated in spring, based on the Vietnamese lunar calendar, usually falling in end of January or first of February. Vietnamese always prepare for Tet before a month or even 2 – months. Vietnamese New Year is divided into Tat Nien (Preparation before Tet), Giao Thua (New Year’s eve) and Tan Nien (In the new year). Tet has many traditions, some of them still are maintained by old people but a lot of them were broken by younger people. Let see some Vietnamese New Year traditions below in order to more understand about Tet.
- Decorating house in Tet
As New Year in almost country, Vietnamese also spend time decorating house before Tet. Decorating house will be done on the days of last month when all members of family are in Tet holidays and they can decorate house together. In Vietnam, people usually use trees such as plum blossom (Popular in southern part), peach flower ( Popular in northern part), Kumquat tree, Neu tree… These trees also have meaning is smoothly, lucky… and make their house brighter. Not only that, people in Vietnam also write some wishes in red paper, called calligraphy. The red paper will be put up in wall or in door. Except these thing, they also clean the house, use balloons, flower… to make their house more beautiful. Decorating house although busy and you will feel tired, it’s still interesting thing we need to do before Tet.
- Greetings and wishes in Tet
In New Year, people will wish family, friends successful, prosperity… The traditional greetings are Happy new year. Children wish their parents and grandparents heath, longevity and parents wish them hard working and study hard. People always come to pagoda in the first day of Tet to wish many things will be alright in New Year. Sometimes they meet senior monk and listen they tell about fortune.
Greetings and wishes in Tet not only for family, friends but also for stranger. When you go out in Tet, you will receive many greetings from anyone you meet on that day, and polite, you also say Happy new year to them. It’s very easy to make friend in Tet, even if between you and friends have problems, the problem more easier to solve in New Year. Tet like time to begin everything again.
- Visiting a person’s house on the first day of New Year
In traditions, the person who is the first come in your house on the first day of New Year can decide your new year is lucky or bad. Lucky or bad depends on twelve Vietnamese zodiac signs. Example, if you was born in the year of horse, person was born in the year of Pig or the year of dog will make your year fine than person was born in the year of rooster. But with more young people now, it’s not important and they feel that idea a person can decide their year is lucky or bad is wrong. So don’t worry, if you travel to Vietnam on the first day of Tet, you still will be welcomed here.
- Food in Vietnamese New year
During Tet (People usually don’t need to go to work about 10 days), Food is very important. On that time, many Vietnamese special dishes will be cooked to celebrate Tet. The dishes and foods to entertaining guests are roasted watermelon seeds, dried candied fruits, coconut candy and popular fruits such as mango, sugar-apple… In dinner the Vietnamese people will eat pickled onion, Chung cake (Popular in north Vietnam), Tet cake (Popular in south Vietnam)… Almost food in Tet is made by members of family, so cozy.
- Lucky money
Lucky money is a small gift which parents give their children; the older people give the smaller people. Money will put on a small red envelope. Children are very happy when they receive the gift. Before hold red envelope, they will say some wishes to older people to thanks for this gift.
Nowadays, it’s still maintained but meaning of giving children a small red envelope is changing and it’s not only hope that children will study harder in New Year, but also concerned other problems. Today, almost people don’t use red envelope, they just give money to children.
Vietnam streets also are decorated by flower, lights and balloons… Tet is the time which many entertainment are celebrated such as lion dancing (Lion is the symbol of strength and lion dancing means that Lion will make evil spirits scare.), folk games as Da ga, choi trau… In Vietnamese New Year, family and friend will come together to joining in some games or just walk and see streets, joining atmosphere of Tet. In tradition, Tet is the time to leave your trouble behind and begin a new year so almost entertainments have meaning is happiness and lucky. Streets are crowded and noisy and that days.
- Not Sweeping on the First and Second Day of the Year
In Vietnam, people won’t clean the house on the first and second day of the year because they think that it cleans trash but also clean good luck out house. So the first and second day, you don’t need to sweep or tidy the house, even don’t trim the nails or wash hair… This is still maintained in countryside but not many in cities
8. Sending things to dead people
In Tet, Vietnamese people will burn some things such as clothes, car, money (All of them are made by paper) to dead people to wish these dead people in heaven or in hell also have a New Year happy. Now, almost younger person don’t do that because they think it’s not necessary.
Vietnamese New year is a special festival in Vietnam and it will be keep forever by generations. So if you want to discover about Vietnam, let travel to Vietnam in Tet, you will immediately love the atmosphere in Vietnam on that days and have a good chance to taste local food.