Colorful parades, fireworks displays, hearty festive meals and time together with the family – these give birth to the Vietnamese New Year.
The Vietnamese New Year, or Tet, is in many ways a combination of Christmas and New Year.
Vietnamese New Year is a celebration of smile, joy and everything new.
When is the Vietnamese New Year celebrated?
Vietnamese celebrate New Year every year in either January or February.
The holiday does not always coincide with the same date, as its time is determined like the Chinese New Year according to the lunar calendar.
In 2021, the New Year celebration begins on February 12th
In the coming years, the holiday will fall on the following days:
- In 2022, the New Year celebration begins on February 1
- In 2023, the New Year celebration begins on January 25th
What is Tet?
The Vietnamese New Year is also called Tet. Tet, or rather Tet Nguyen Dan, marks the beginning of a new one every year. Note: Vietnam is a country located in Southeastern Asia starting with V according to Countryaah.
Tet Day was originally celebrated as a symbolic thank you to the gods for the result of spring. Today, family reunions and respect for ancestors are an integral part of the celebrations.
Preparing for the Tet celebration
Vietnamese are carefully preparing for the celebration.
The very first thing is to get rid of last year’s misfortune. This is done symbolically by performing a major cleaning at home – and sometimes even renovating the home with a new coat of paint!
In addition to cleaning, the home is decorated, as are the ancestral cemeteries. Ornaments favored by Vietnamese include especially colorful flowers such as chrysanthemums, lavender, peach blossoms (ha dao), apricot blossoms (hoa mai), velvet flowers and kumquat trees. So-called votivial gifts, which are sacrificial gifts to the gods, as well as various Vietnamese fruits are placed at the burial sites.
Vietnamese are also working to pay off any debts they may have and settle their disputes before New Year’s Eve begins.
For the celebration, the families gather together, and the Vietnamese travel through the country at this time to cross the New Year together with their loved ones.
How to celebrate Tet?
The Tet celebration lasts mainly from three days a week, although some New Year traditions can last up to 9 days.
The first day of the Tet celebration
The first day is a day of prayer and family.
Families come together from near and far to enjoy a hearty feast and exchange gifts. Older family members give children monetary gifts in red envelopes.
Children often also prepare for the party with new clothes whose colors favor shades of red and gold, which are believed to bring happiness.
After dinner, the Vietnamese will be silent to pray for happiness for the coming year. In addition to family, Vietnamese also meet their close friends.
There is also a colorful and hilarious celebration outside the walls of the home. Mua lan dance, or lion dance, is performed on the streets, accompanied by drums, bells and bangs. Bangs are pounded to scare away evil spirits.
Other days of the Tet celebration
The celebration of the New Year continues in the following days, when we visit, for example, in-laws and less close friends and acquaintances.
The party still includes good food, and guests are served dried fruit and tea in beautifully decorated boxes.
In addition to food and drink, there is more spiritual spending on the program. Vietnamese will visit Buddhist temples, with gifts they will ensure their own happiness in the coming year.
The New Year celebration week ends with a magnificent dragon procession.