Vietnamese people are looking forward to the upcoming traditional Lunar New Year or Tet holiday, the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. Tet holiday celebrates the arrival of spring based on the Vietnamese lunar calendar. Although the main holiday takes place in 3 days, people spend a whole month preparing and enjoy the coziest time in the year with family and friends.
Lunar New Year in Vietnam includes three periods:
Before New Year’s Eve:
About one week before the actual celebration, Vietnamese people working far from their hometown return home to decorate home, cook traditional food, and go shopping for celebrating Tet holiday with their families. Not only the rooms but also the family altar, which is used to show respect to Vietnamese ancestors is cleaned and new offerings are placed, especially a tray of five different fruits. People gather together to cook special holiday foods include square sticky rice cake, round sticky rice cake, dried young bamboo soup, and colored sticky rice.
These days all markets are full of people. Women often go to the flower market to buy peach blossoms and apricot blossoms, which are typical spring flowers in Vietnam. The kumquat tree is also a popular decoration for the living room during Tet holiday. Its many fruits symbolize fertility and fruitfulness for which the family hopes in the coming year.
Traditionally, the three kitchen guardians for each house, who report to the Jade Emperor about the events in that house over the past year, return to heaven on the 23rd day of the 12th month by lunar year. All families will organize a modest ceremony where they offer carps, transport method for them to use on their journey.
Dropping carps for kitchen guardians
During New Year:
Vietnamese Lunar New Year begins from the first day of the first month of the Vietnamese calendar. According to Vietnamese tradition, if good things come to the family on the first day of the lunar New Year, the entire following year will also be full of blessings. They invite a person of good temper, morality, and success to be the first one into their house. For the 1st day of Lunar New Year, children wear their new clothes and give their elders the traditional Tet greetings to adults then they will receive lucky money wrapped in a red envelope.
Children receive lucky money from adults
Traditionally but not strictly, the second day of the Tet holiday is usually reserved for friends, while the third day is for teachers, who command respect in Vietnam. That’s also the time for gathering to talk about the passing old year and plans for the future.
Fireworks displays have also become an irreplaceable part of a Tet celebration in Vietnam. During the New Year’s Eve, fireworks displays at major cities, such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang are broadcast through multiple national and local TV channels, accompanied by New Year wishes of the current president.
People also go to visit pagodas. There is a place to get serenity and to wish success and peace for the lunar new year in Vietnamese.
People can also take part in traditional festivals to present their knowledge, strength, and aestheticism. These festivals can last from a day up to whole a week and be organized in the 3 first months of the lunar year.
This year, the first day of Lunar New Year is the 8th of February, 2016. I wish all of our beloved customers have a lunar new year of prosperity and success!