You have your Christmas and we in Vietnam have our Tet. If you wonder what it is, just read on and let us tell you a bit more about our New Year celebration.
When the Christmas lights are up in the western countries, it is the time that people in Vietnam, and some other eastern countries as well, start to feel more or less the anticipation of the holiday as our Lunar New Year or Tet, as called by the locals, is coming close. It is the most important celebration of the year when parting with the old year and greeting new one, all counted by moon calendar. To us, it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year all come together.
Weeks before Tet, you feel its presence in the air with twinkling lights hanging up on the streets, flowers in bloom selling at every street corner and festive spirits ticking happy smiles on strangers. It is the anticipation and little things that make it special. In any family in Vietnam, there are always a mom busy cleaning and decorating the house, a dad rushing through the street for kumquat tree or peach flower which is a symbol of Tet the same way as pine tree with Christmas, children running around excitedly in new clothes and grands talking about the old days. It is the holiday making. Though traditions has changed through time, the meaning of Tet stays, which means the time for family reunion, loving and sharing all the goods, leaving all the bads behind, starting a fresh new
year with your beloved.
After a long year of hardworking and living far from home in many cases, this is the best time of year to be with your family that everyone so look forward to, be them the old or the young, the rich or the poor.
If you are, by any chance, present in Vietnam around this magical time of year, just enjoy it with us as there is no time like it any other time of the year. Here are some tips for you to enjoy it to the most:
1) Make your travel arrangement in advance
It is the time that everyone wants to come home, every family want to enjoy together so you must keep in mind that services are not as many as in normal time, especially transportation and guide. Don’t leave anything of your trip to the last minutes or for the spontaneous otherwise you might find yourself paying much higher price or even no services at all.
2) Plan your itinerary
When planning, it is advisable to know the exact date of Tet on solar calendar, which is on Feb 5 th this year. Try to avoid long journeys 1 week before Tet as it is hectic when mass exodus of people tries to get home. Also do not plan too many activities during 3 days after Tet as many tourist sites are closed while the ones open are full of locals.
3) Higher price
It is expected that the price go up during Tet holiday, especially if you buy from small vendors on the streets. If you think street food in Vietnam is cheap, then think differently if you come here in this special holiday. It is common belief that sales during Tết to be omens of the upcoming year, so don’t be surprised if shopkeepers are extra surly about your attempts to barter them down.
4) Join in with festive spirit
The festive spirit is in the air and you feel it everywhere you go. Just wandering around in the old quarter to see the bustling of shopping for Tet, watching vehicles tied with kumquat and peach trees threading through the crowded streets, visiting flower markets in the early morning to feel the season through the voice of colours and fragrance and counting down at new year’s eve when fireworks fill the sky. You’ll see the peaceful side of the cities with no scary traffic to worry about, something you can’t experience at any other time of the year.
5) Magic words
Learn this phrases “Chuc mung nam moi” meaning “Happy New Year” and say it to locals when you meet or part. It will definitely put a smile on their faces If you plan to have a memorable trip in Vietnam during Tet holiday, you’d better hurry up or contact Ideal Travel Asia for further support.
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