Lunar New Year is a big celebration in the U.S., but even more so of course in Asia, and particularly in Vietnam. Where it is known as “TET”. In 2016 this holiday falls on February 8th, but is celebrated from February 6-14. TET NGUYEN DAN or “TET” for short.
Tet is the occasion for Vietnamese to express their respect for their ancestors as well as welcoming the New Year. Tet provides a long break between the agricultural year, and the harvesting of crops and the sowing of the new seeds. (Tet is very much like our own US Christmas and New Years.) Families will gather together to enjoy big meals with special celebratory foods, decorate their homes with Tet trees and other special Tet decorations to welcome the new year.
Vietnamese begin their preparations well in advance of the upcoming New Year. In an effort to get rid of any bad luck of the old year, people will spend a few days cleaning their homes, polishing every utensil, or even repaint and decorate the house with kumquat tree, branches of peach blossom, and many other colorful flowers. The ancestral altar is taken care of, with careful decoration of five kinds of fruits. Everybody, especially children, buy new clothes and shoes to wear on the first days of New Year. Many try to pay all their pending debts and resolve all the arguments among colleagues, friends or family before the new year, . Vietnamese believe that the colors of red and yellow will bring good fortune, which explains why these colors can be seen everywhere in Lunar New Year. Many consider what they do on the dawn of Tet will determine their fate for the whole year, making people more outgoing , and behave as nice as possible, while children traditionally receive lucky money presented in traditional red envelopes. Celebrating Tet in Vietnam–mixing with the exuberant and joyful locals is a memorable experience for the whole family!
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