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History and rituals of the vietnamese new year

It is the Vietnamese New Year marking the arrival of spring based on the Lunar calendar, a lunisolar calendar. Tet takes place from the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar around late January or early February until at least the third day. Many Vietnamese prepare for Tet by cooking special holiday foods and cleaning their house. Tet is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions.

During Tet, Vietnamese visits their relatives and temples, forgetting the troubles of the past year and hoping for a better upcoming year.

Like other Asian countries, Vietnamese believe that the color of red and yellow will bring good fortune, which may explain why these colors can be seen everywhere in Lunar New Year. People consider what they do on the dawn of Tet will determine their fate for the whole year, hence people always smile and behave as nice as they can in the hope for a better year.

All about traditions of Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year

Vietnamese people usually return to their families during Tet. Some return to worship at the family altar or visit the graves of their ancestors in their homeland. Although Tet is a national holiday among all Vietnamese, each region and religion has its own customs.

All of these customs are to celebrate Tet in Vietnam.

Vietnamese New Year Traditions: A Guide to the 12 Days of Tết

The general atmosphere leading up to Tet is in the bustle of shopping, decorating the home, cooking traditional Tet food and waiting for relatives to return home. People try to pay off their debts in advance so that they can be debt-free on Tet.

Parents buy new clothes for their children so that the children can wear them when Tet arrives. In the days leading up to Tet, the streets and markets are full of people.

  • Above all, the Tet of the New Year is a time for meeting;
  • Its many fruits symbolize the fertility and fruitfulness that the family hopes for in the coming year;
  • Banh Chung are thick cakes of rice filled with stewed meat or eggs and wrapped in banana leaves;
  • People try to pay off their debts in advance so that they can be debt-free on Tet;
  • The food from the altar is added to a huge feast which can last several hours.

As the shops will be closed during Tet, everyone is busy buying food, clothes, and decorations for their house. Vietnamese families usually have a family altar, to pay respect to their ancestors. During Tet the altar is thoroughly cleaned and new offerings are placed there. Their departure is marked by a modest ceremony where the family offers sacrifices for them to use on their journey. Preparations for these foods are quite extensive.

Family members often take turns to keep watch on the fire overnight, telling each other stories about Tet of past years. One of very popular traditional food in Tet is Mut candied fruits which is not served in the meals but a snack to welcome guests visiting house and always kept in beautiful boxes and placed at the table in the living room.

Traditions of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year

The New Year The first day of Tet is reserved for the nuclear family. Children wear their new clothes, give their elders the traditional Tet greetings before receiving the lucky money from them in exchange.

People also wish each other prosperity and luck. Traditionally, everyone is one year older on Tet, so children would wish their grandparents health and longevity.

  • Every spot of dust, overlooked stain and tatty old rag is scrubbed and cleaned to purify the house and avoid an unlucky year;
  • All of these customs are to celebrate Tet in Vietnam;
  • For this reason, every home makes offerings in the open air to pray for a good new year.

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. Sweeping during Tet is a taboo since it symbolizes sweeping the luck away. During subsequent days, people visit relatives and friends. Traditionally but not strictly, the second day of Tet is usually reserved for friends, while the third day is for teachers, who command respect in Vietnam.

Vietnamese New Year

Local Buddhist temples are popular spots as people like to give donations and to get their fortunes told during Tet. Decorations Vietnamese families also buy home peach blossom trees, kumquat trees, and orange trees. They also buy flowers to decorate their homes such as chrysanthemums or orchids.

They plant these flowers and put them into beautiful pots in front of or inside the house. At Tet every house is usually decorated by Ochna integerrima in the central and south Vietnam or peach flower in the North. In the north or central, the kumquat tree is a popular decoration for the living room during Tet.

Its many fruits symbolize the fertility and fruitfulness that the family hopes for in the coming year.

  1. The family have all come home and are catching up with stories of their time away. It is an opportunity for the household genies to meet, those who have helped during the year, namely the Craft Creator, the Land Genie and the Kitchen God.
  2. Dao, Mai, Quat the Peach, Apricot and Kumquat Coming to Vietnam during the season of the Tet festival, the visitor is engulfed in an ocean of colorful flowers. All of the special papers and food placed on the family altar over the past three days are collected in one place.
  3. Vietnamese families usually have a family altar, to pay respect to their ancestors. The mandarin is symbolic of good fortune; therefore people tend to choose the little plants with verdant leaves which are laden with large, orange fruit for a longer display.
  4. If someone with an unlucky star sign or of bad character is the first then the rest of the year will be filled with misfortune. During Tet, Vietnamese visits their relatives and temples, forgetting the troubles of the past year and hoping for a better upcoming year.

Above all, time to Tet is counting down, so if you want to experience this extremely special event at least once in a life, just pack up your luggage and reserve a Lunar New Year trip in Vietnam!