Saturday, December 7, 2019

Tet Holiday of the Vietnamese

During Tet holiday( Vietnamese lunar new year holiday), Vietnamese people usually return to their families .Although Tết is a national holiday among all Vietnamese, each region and religion has its own customs.

Vietnamese people usually return to their families during Tet holiday( Vietnamese lunar new year holiday). Some return to worship at the family altar or visit the graves of their ancestors in their homeland. Although Tết is a national holiday among all Vietnamese, each region and religion has its own customs.

Tết – Vietnamese lunar new year holiday in the three Vietnamese regions can be divided into three periods, known as Tất Niên (Before New Year’s Eve), Giao Thừa (New Year’s Eve), and Tân Niên (the New Year), representing the preparation before Tết, the eve of Tết, and the days of and following Tết, respectively. All of these customs are to celebrate Tết in Vietnam.

Tất Niên or Before New Year’s Eve day

This period begins one or two weeks before the actual celebration. The general atmosphere leading up to Tết holiday is in the bustle of shopping, decorating the home, cooking traditional Tết food and waiting for relatives to return home. People try to pay off their debts in advance so that they can be debt-free on Tết. Parents buy new clothes for their children so that the children can wear them when Tết  holiday arrives.


In the days leading up to Tết – Vietnamese lunar new year, the streets and markets are full of people. As the shops will be closed during Tết holiday, everyone is busy buying food, clothes, and decorations for their house.
Vietnamese families usually have a family altar, to pay respect to their ancestors. Vietnamese families have a tray of five different fruits on their altar called “Ngũ Quả” (five fruits type). During Tết  the altar is thoroughly cleaned and new offerings are placed there. Traditionally, the three kitchen guardians for each house (Ông Táo) (Kitchen God), who report to the Jade Emperor about the events in that house over the past year, return to heaven on the 23rd day of the twelfth month by lunar calendar. Their departure is marked by a modest ceremony where the family offers sacrifices for them to use on their journey.


In the days leading up to Tết holiday, each family cooks special holiday foods such as bánh chưng ( chung cake) and bánh dầy ( day cake).  Family members often take turns to keep watch on the fire overnight, telling each other stories about Tết of past years.

Giao Thừa  or New Year’s Eve

The Giao Thua 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. The 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 the giao thua is the start of the new year with many customs and practices, amusements and entertainment, all of a distinct Vietnamese folk culture.

Tân Niên or the New Year day

The first day of Tết is reserved for the nuclear family. Children receive a red envelope containing money from their elders. This tradition is called “mừng tuổi” (happy new age) in the north and “lì xì” in the south. Usually, children wear their new clothes and give their elders the traditional Tết greetings before receiving the money. Since the Vietnamese believe that the first visitor a family receives in the year determines their fortune for the entire year, people never enter any house on the first day without being invited first. The act of being the first person to enter a house on Tết – the lunar new year  is called “xông đất” or “xông nhà”, which is one of the most important rituals during Tết holiday. According to Vietnamese tradition, if good things come to the family on the first day of the lunar New Year, the entire following year will also be full of blessings. Usually, a person of good temper, morality and success will be the lucky sign for the host family and be invited first into the house. However, just to be safe, the owner of the house will leave the house a few minutes before midnight and come back just as the clock strikes midnight to prevent anyone else entering the house first who might potentially bring any unfortunate events in the new year to the household.
Sweeping during Tết holiday is taboo or xui (unlucky), since it symbolizes sweeping the luck away. It is also taboo for anyone who experienced a recent loss of a family member to visit anyone else during Tết.

During subsequent days, people visit relatives and friends. Traditionally but not strictly, the second day of Tết is usually reserved for friends, while the third day is for teachers, who command respect in Vietnam. Local Buddhist temples are popular spots as people like to give donations and to get their fortunes told during Tết holiday. Children are free to spend their new money on toys or on gambling games such as bầu cua cá cọp, which can be found in the streets. Prosperous families can pay for dragon dancers to perform at their house. There are also public performances for everyone to watch.

Thu nhỏ
Travel consultancy