The Vietnamese Tet Festival lasts around one week, and the whole country will start preparing for this event even from the previous month. Amongst the best things to do for the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, there stand out 5 most special Vietnamese Tet Festivals that all Vietnamese adhere to. It’s great to know, indeed.
#1: Tet Ong Tao (Kitchen God Day): December 23rd of Lunar Calendar
Before Tet comes, the ritual practice of “Dua Ong Tao Ve Troi” (The Kitchen’s God Day) marks the start of Tet holiday celebration in Vietnam. On December 23rd of Lunar Calendar, the Vietnamese throughout the country follow the rituals of cleaning the kitchen as well as the Kitchen’s Gods, paroling the carps in the hope that the carps will carry the Gods to heaven. According to the local folktales, the Kitchen’s Gods will report the earthy life conditions and events at the end of the year to the Jade Emperor. Before the noon time of the Kitchen’s God Day, every family is expected to burn the incenses, make the good meal, and worship.
#2: Tat Nien (Year-end Party): On the Last Day of the Lunar Year
Families, groups of friends, coworkers, roommates, etc., are likely to celebrate the year-end party which marks the last day of the Lunar Year with the great food, happy drinks, and laughter altogether. Some people can have “Tat Nien” even weeks or days before the last day of the year. Most of the Vietnamese men celebrate this kind of party with beers while the women enjoy taking numerous beautiful selfie pictures.
What’s more, the time by the end of the year urges people to pay any outstanding debt and forgetting the conflicts if possible. In these cases, the unpaid debts and the conflicts are similar to the trash which means unlucky and needs to be cleaned up before the New Year. Completing everything left from the previous year seems to be a must to do, and the Vietnamese try their best to do it.
#3: Giao Thua (New Year’s Eve): At Midnight of the New Year’s Eve
Whether or not you have experienced New Year’s Eve in Vietnam, it’s always stimulated to attend the exhilarating atmosphere filled with music performance, firework, and colorful parade. Before the midnight, there will be the live music performances and parades, especially in the large cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Then, at midnight or sooner a bit, the firework will be shot off that illuminates the sky and creates the memorable moments. People all love to share this meaningful time with their loved ones. While the young people hang out and gather at the crowded places to welcome the fireworks with their friends and sweethearts, the elders prefer praying to God and their ancestors for the year of health, happiness, and prosperity. After the firework shooting, traffic jam is discouraging; so try to take it easy! That is a good opportunity to enjoy the exclusive night with local people if you travel to Vietnam during this period. This year, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year’s Eve is on 15-16 February 2018 !
People go out to see fireworks on New Year’s Eve
#4: The Three Days of Tet – How to Spend Vietnamese Tet Festival
The Vietnamese New Year Holiday of Tet mainly takes place in three first days when people mostly spend time with their beloved ones. There is even the tradition about how to spend the first days of Tet which is still kept from generations to generations of the Vietnamese.
- The 1st day is the Tet of Father. People are expected to visit the paternal side of the family on this day. So if you have some Vietnamese friends and invite them to go out on the first day of Tet, they might say sorry because they will go to visit their grandfathers’ home.
- The 2nd day is the Tet of Mother. People usually use this day to visit their maternal side of the family. On this day, your friends might go to their maternal grandfathers’ home to wish them the longevity and health.
By visiting the parental and maternal sides of the family, children can get some red envelopes including the “lucky money.”
- The 3rd day is the Tet of Teachers. The Vietnamese have the tradition of respecting the teachers. Therefore, they spend the third day of Tet to visit and show respect to their teachers who play the important roles in their lives.
On the subsequent days, people are free to hang out, travel, go shopping, visit pagodas, and play various games. The key is to spend time with the ones they love. Of course, the family meals should be appreciated.
Visit relatives and friends during Vietnamese New Year Holiday
#5: Exchange Vietnamese Tet Holiday Greetings
The beautiful Vietnamese Tet Holiday Greetings are exchanged during the Tet spans, and people should be ready with several good wishes in the mind. So if you are keen on learning the common greetings of Tet in Vietnam, read the following and practice whenever you get a chance:
- Cung Chuc Tan Xuan / Chuc Mung Nam Moi: Happy New Year, wishing the happy, lucky, and prosperous year.
- Song Lau Tram Tuoi: Wish You The Long Life of 100 Years Old. The New Year’s greetings are used by the children to wish their grandparents the longevity and health. As already noted, the young ones will get the red envelope with the “Lucky Money” in exchange.
- “An Khang Thinh Vuong”: Wish you the safety, good health, and prosperity. All of the best greetings are well combined in the four powerful Vietnamese words.
- Van Su Nhu Y: May Myriad Things Go According to Your Will.
- Tien Vo Nhu Nuoc: May Money Flow in Just Like Water.
In the common thoughts, the New Year’s Greetings and Lucky Money usually go along with each other that make the concept of “Give and Receive” enjoyable. While the children give the beautiful wishes with the big happy smiles to their grandparents, parents, and relatives, the adults are also happy to receive the best greetings and then give the Lucky Money back to the kids. Of course, the kids are excited to receive the Lucky Money.
Go on visiting Vietnam during Tet and experiencing these critical moments of indispensable Vietnamese Tet Festival!