Tet Festival, Tradition of Celebrating New Year in Vietnam
For Vietnamese, Tet Nguyên Dán, or better known by the name Tet, is the most important and popular holiday and celebration in Vietnam.
Tet is the Vietnamese New Year to mark the coming of spring based on the Lunar calendar. Tet lasts from the first day or first month of the Lunar calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day.
This year the Tet will fall on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Activities leading up to the Tet celebration began to appear in various market locations and road segments filled with tree traders or Tet flowers.
During Tet, the Vietnamese usually carry on the tradition of visiting their relatives and temples, forgetting the problems from last year and hoping for a better year to come. Serving main meals as a hallmark at Tet is a hereditary tradition that is maintained from time to time.
Bánh chung (square shaped sticky rice cake), was one of the main foods at the time of Tet. Bánh Chung is made of glutinous rice, green beans and meat wrapped in banana leaves (which symbolizes the earth).
Besides traditional reasons, bánh chung was chosen as the main food because with a certain temperature it can last for almost a month. Besides bánh chung there are also giò cha (Vietnamese sausages) and mut (fruit preserves). As for also making tet gift ideas.
As in Indonesia there are Eid homecoming, in Vietnam also going home before the new year Tet. This tradition is carried out because for the Tet people not only mark the arrival of spring or the celebration of the new year, but the Tet also determines the momentum of happiness, joy, and luck.
On the first day Tet is preferred for the main family gatherings; usually children receive a red envelope containing money from their parents. This tradition in northern Vietnam is called mung tuoi (happy new age) and in southern Vietnam it is called lì xì (lucky money).
Usually, children wear new clothes and give Tet greetings to their parents before receiving money. Tradition is also considered important and is very believed by Vietnamese people that the first visitors to their homes in the new year Tet will determine their fate for the whole year.
Realizing this tradition, the Vietnamese do not come to visit other people’s homes if they are not invited. The first person to enter a house in the new year Tet is called xông dat, xông nhà or dap dat (the person who brings good luck).
Usually, people who are friendly or have good morality and success, are the first people to be invited to the house as a sign of luck for the host family.
Another tradition that is no less important in the Tet new year is to decorate a house with Tet trees. Towards the Tet celebration, the Vietnamese are busy decorating their homes with Tet trees which also symbolize prosperity and luck.
Every house in northern Vietnam usually decorates their homes with hoa dào, pink peach or hoa mai, yellow ochna in southern Vietnam.
The Vietnamese do not hesitate to reach into pockets to buy trees or Tet flowers at high prices because the decoration in their homes also signifies the level of economic prosperity of their families.