Tết Nguyên Đán or Tết is the most important and popular holiday in Vietnam, which marks the arrival of spring based on the Vietnamese Lunar calendar. If you, a foreigner would like to stay in Vietnam during the Tet holiday, you may need some useful information about this important holiday in order to enjoy a perfect stay in Vietnam. This article will tell you.
Like its Sino-Vietnamese’s meaning, Tết Nguyên Đán falls on the first day of the lunar year. In the Vietnamese Lunar Calendar, it takes place from the first day of the first month (about late January or early February in the Gregorian Calendar) till at least the third day. In Vietnam, Tet traditions begin approximately 1week before Tet Nguyen Dan. There has existed a legend that in the twenty third day of December in the Vietnamese Lunar Calendar, the Kitchen God, the God protecting family’s health takes carp ride up to the heaven to report what happens in Vietnam in the year. Therefore, local people often hold ceremony to see the Kitchen God off.
On the last days of the year, named Tat Nien, all the members of family gather, preparing traditional cuisine, talking about the past year and dedicating to ancestor and passed-away relatives. On the last day of the year, parties take place within the evening; mothers take main charge of cooking. After the dinner, families often watch an annual famous show in Vietnam called Tao Quan together. At 0 a.m, they join to light incense stick on alters to show the respect to ancestors, Gods and ask for a new healthy year. And then, all the members gather together, enjoy a light meal with candy, cake and wine or whisky and exchange wishes for a new year.
On the first day of the New Year, the first person coming to (xong dat in Vietnamese) your house is proposed to have great influences on your family’s luck and prosperity in the New Year. On arriving at other family, Vietnamese often exchange lucky money with honest wish for the new year. Vietnamese people will be highly appreciated if you put lucky money into a red envelope and give them. The money can be only 10 thousand Vietnam Dong or 1 euro, which I mean the money value does not matter, your honesty matters. Vietnamese will consider it a significant luck for the New Year.
Besides, since Vietnamese often wakes up quite later than normal days on the first day of the year, it is a great chance for you to get up early and take a walk along the street or the village. You will find amazing peace, which is different far from the hectic normal days. All you hear is the sound of breeze, the birdsong and the sound of flying flag. All you see on the street is the fresh green trees or flowers, several cute dogs. The air is freshest than ever before. It is absolutely worth experiencing.
For locals, Tet celebration is a quite private affair. Almost all people will come back to their family homes and spend this great time with their nearest and dearest. But if you’re a foreigner, you still have options for celebrating this fascinating Lunar New Year.
Few recommended places in Hanoi where you can see several celebrations are Ngoc Son Temple at Hoan Kiem Lake, Quan Su pagoda, where you can see the locals praying, Hanoi Opera House, where companies like Heineken put on events, and anywhere where you can see the fireworks and count down for the new year.
Besides, if you get the chance to have Tet holiday with a local family, you are so lucky, let’s enjoy it. Of course it is highly recommended for you to search carefully on Vietnamese, Vietnamese cultures and Tet in Vietnam to have an memorable experience.
Besides, almost all the restaurants or public services do not work within the Tet holiday, so if you want to find any in this occasion, let’s contact us, local travel experts for useful advises.