To Vietnamese, New Year occasion, known as Tet in Vietnamese language, is extremely important marking the starting of a new year. Let’s join Ideal Travel Asia to learn the interesting way the local people celebrate their Tet
Everyone is in a rush to get a new haircut, buy new clothes, spruce up their homes, visit friends, settle outstanding debts, and stock up on traditional Tet delicacies. Businesses hang festive red banners which read “Chuc Mung Nam Moi” (Happy New Year) and city streets are festooned with colored lights. Stalls spring up all over town to sell nut (candied fruits and jams), traditional cakes, and fresh fruit and flowers. Meaning of Vietnamese New Year Tet Nguyen Dan ( Tet festival ) is the most important occasion of Vietnamese culture, same way as New Year’s Day and Christmas to the Westerner. After a hardworking year, Tet means a lot to the people in that it not only is the time for gathering and relaxing but also the represent of the new year.
Every year, Vietnam always celebrate the Lunar New Year with impressive fireworks.(Souce: The Internet)
Kitchen Gods worshipping ritual According to their belief, Kitchen Gods are the deities looking after the well being of the household. The ritual of worshiping the Kitchen God on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month is an indispensable tradition in Vietnam. On the 23rd of the 12th lunar month, the Kitchen God will ride a carp to the heaven to report on the families’ behaviors and achievements during that year. By preparing a grand farewell to the Kitchen Gods for their journey to heaven, the people hope they have the best for the New Year and leave the bad luck of the old year behind. Giao Thua – New Year’s Eve “Giao Thua” ( New Year’s Eve in local language) is the most sacred point of time, the passage from the old to the new year. It is popularly believed that in Heaven there are twelve Highnesses in charge of monitoring and controlling the affairs on earth, each of them taking charge of one year. Giao thua is the moment of seeing off the old chieftain upon the conclusion of his term and welcoming in the new one upon his assumption of office. For this reason, every home makes offerings in the open air to pray for a good new year. After Giao thua is the start of the New Year with many customs and practices, amusements and entertainment, all of a distinct Vietnamese folk culture. This is a holiday with a distinct traditional culture that is rich in national identity.
Vietnamese people usually return to their families. A cozy atmosphere of family reunion on Tet Holiday (Souce: The Internet)
Vietnamese New Year Food ( Food specialties for Tet )One of the most traditional special foods for New Years (Tet) of Vietnamese is Banh Chung or sticky rice cake. Banh Chung is made of sticky rice, pork and green bean wrapped inside a special leaf which calls Dong. Making Banh Chung requires care and precision in every step. The rice and green bean has to be soaked in water for a day to make it stickier. The pork is usually soaked with pepper for several hours. Squaring off and tying the cakes with bamboo strings require skillful hands to make it a perfect square.Banh Chung is a must among other foods to be placed on the ancestors’ altars during Tet holiday. In the old time, one or two days before Tet, every family prepares and cooks the Banh Chung around the warm fire. It is also the time for parents to tell their children folklore stories. Nowadays, families which live in villages still maintain making Banh Chung before New Years while people in the city can buy the ready made ones.
Wrapping banh chung with family (Souce: The Internet)
Clean and decorate the homeHomes are often cleaned and decorated before New Year’s Eve. Children are in charge of sweeping and scrubbing the floor. The kitchen needs to be cleaned before the 23rd night of the last month. Usually, the head of the household cleans the dust and ashes (from incense) from the ancestral altars. It is a common belief that cleaning the house will get rid of the bad fortunes associated with the old year. Some people would paint their house and decorate with festive items.Flowers and TreesComing to Vietnam during the greeting season, the visitor is engulfed in an ocean of colorful flowers. Visiting flower shows, contemplating the buds and blooms, and purchasing blossoms represents one of the distinct Vietnamese cultural characteristics. The peach (in the North ) and the apricot blossoms (in the South) are symbols of the Vietnamese Tet. The warm pink of the peach could very well match the dry cold of the North, but the hot South seems to be flourishing in the riot of the yellow of the apricot. 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.
Visitors visit flower market in Tet festival (Souce: The Internet)
The Plate of Five Fruits in Vietnamese New Year ( Mam Ngu Qua )The “five-fruit tray” on the ancestral altar during the Tet Holidays symbolizes the admiration and gratitude of the Vietnamese to Heaven and Earth and their ancestors and demonstrates their aspiration for a life of plenty. The five fruits represent the quintessence hope that Heaven and Earth bless humans. It demonstrates a Vietnamese percept of life, “When taking fruit, you should think of the grower”.The fruits are colorful and meaningful. They make New Year more lively and sacred. In Asian mythology, the world is made of five basic elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The plate of fruits on the family altar at New Year is one of several ways to represent this concept. The plate of fruits also represents the desire for good crops and prosperity.Lucky moneyGiving children the red envelopes containing money for luck is a cultural practice that has been maintained for generations in Vietnam. The red envelopes symbolize luck and wealth.All in all, Tet is all about back to origins, wishing for the best, and joining in colorful parties. That’s the way for vietnamese people celebrate Tet festival. It’s homely and cozy. So why don’t you participate with us ? We think that you will feel very impressionable.Some our trip about Tet festival. We hope that you might like it :7 DAYS IN TET HOLIDAY – THE TRADITIONAL BEAUTY OF VIETNAMEXCITING HANOI FREE AND EASY TOUR 4DAYS