Vietnam Lunar New Year Festival

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Lunar New Year Festival
Lunar New Year Festival

Lunar New Year Festival often falls between late January and early February; it is among the most important holidays in Vietnam. Officially, the festival includes the 1st, 2nd and 3rd day in Lunar Calendar; however, Vietnamese people often spend about nearly a month to celebrate this special event.

Traditionally, the purpose of Tet holiday is that Vietnamese would like to thank Gods for the arrival of spring with a variety of blooming trees and flowers after a cold and harsh winter. Also, this is the privileged occasion for familya��s members to reunite, celebrating a new year which has come together, and saying farewell to the previous one. All the best things are prepared and consumed during this holiday as people want to ensure that they will have a new year full of prosperity.

Lunar New Year Festival
Lunar New Year Festival

Tet Holiday gets its beginning marked with the first day in the Lunar Year; however, its preparation starts long before that. One week before the holiday, in the 23rd day of the last Lunar month, is East Daya��a ritual worshiping Kitchen Gods (Tao Cong). It is believed that each year on this day, these Gods (two males, one female) go to heaven to tell Jade Emperor (Ngoc Hoang) about all activities of households on earth. On the New Yeara��s Eve, they return to earth to continue their duties as taking care of families. Each household also buy a carp as this is the transport for the Gods on their trip to heaven. After the ritual, they set the carp free.

Lunar New Year Festival
Lunar New Year Festival

Kitchen Gods are believed as the first gods leaving earth to report, followed by others on the next day. Within the absence of all of the gods, household members start cleaning their houses and decorating them beautifully with a plenty of accessoriesa��a process that must be done before the New Yeara��s Day as the appearance of cleaning equipment after that equals sweeping all the good lucks away. In addition, people buy and/or prepare items exclusive in Tet Holiday (for example: Chung cake, Day cake, pork bologna, pickled onion, candied fruits and seeds)a��mainly foods that can be stored for a long time as all services are closed in the event, for about two weeks. Also, they buy new clothes, and give gift to their homies, relatives as well as friends. One thing to remember is that everybody needs to pay all of the debt as remaining debts from one year to another is considered bringing bad lucks.

Lunar New Year Festival
Lunar New Year Festival

The penultimate New Yeara��s Evea��Tat Nien, the meal finishing the entire yeara��should be well served, in which everyone involved remembers all the happy moments and talks about the good things only. On the New Yeara��s Eve (Giao Thua), Vietnamese people have a spectacular celebration which involves the whole nationa��some may gather around TV and watch the Tao Quan show, some may go out for fireworks observation. When the bell of the twelfth hour rings, everybody gathers, at exciting parties or at the comfort of their homes, saying Happy New Year to one another in warm hugs, forgetting all problems as well as hoping for a better start.

On the New Yeara��s Day, the first ones who come to visit householdsa��called first-foota��are very important and hence need to be well chosen, as they are believed to hold in their hands the entire luck of the family in New Year (Tan Nien). After that, till the third day or even the fourth day of Tet, individuals meet relatives, friends and colleagues, wishing them all kinds of good things like happiness, health and success. They give children lucky money covered in pretty little red envelopes also because of that reason, as red represents good lucks. Also, they visit pagodas to pray for a good start in the coming year.

There is a saying in Vietnam, a�?Fathera��s Tet is on the First Day of New Year, Mothera��s Tet is on the Second, and Teachera��s is on the Thirda�?. The best illustration of the quotation is that, on the first day, Vietnamese visit their parents on the husbanda��s side on; on the second day, they turn to parents on the wifea��s side; and lastly, they spend their third day of Tet visiting their teachers. All in all, Tet is all about back to origins, wishing for the best, and joining in colorful parties.

Time: 1st lunar month

Purpose: reunite family, celebrate new year with the best

Activities:

  • Kitchen Gods worshipping ritual
  • Cleaning and preparation
  • New Yeara��s Eve
  • New Yeara��s Day