Is 2023 the year of the rabbit or the cat? Let VUS tell you what Tet Nguyen Dan is about!
🌸Both Chinese and Vietnamese zodiacs include a 12-year cycle with 12 animal symbols. However, there is one difference: the fourth animal in the Vietnamese signs is the Cat, not the Rabbit as in the Chinese Zodiac. That’s the reason why most Asian countries celebrate the year of Rabbit, whereas Vietnamese rejoice in the year of the Cat in 2023.
🌸 Tet holiday – Tet Nguyen Dan, also known by its shortened name “Tet”, is one of the most important and popular celebrations in Vietnam’s culture. Tet is not just an occasion for family reunions, it is also the time for Vietnamese people to temporarily put aside their worries and enjoy life after a year of working hard.
On this special occasion, what do Vietnamese people often do? Explore the typical activities down below.
🧧 𝗔𝗟𝗟 𝗔𝗕𝗢𝗨𝗧 𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗗𝗜𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦 𝗢𝗙 𝗧𝗘𝗧 🧧
🎉 Time to Tet is counting down. In case you don’t know what to do on Tet holiday, let’s discover our traditional customs during the Lunar New Year.
– Tiec Tat Nien (New Year’s Eve party): This is an important milestone to mark the beginning of new journeys. Like other countries throughout the world, Vietnam also celebrates the first New Year Day with spectacular fireworks and many beautiful parades and flower displays on the street. However, the New Year’s Eve celebration in Vietnam is often commemorated on a different day based on the Vietnamese Lunar calendar along with several significant Tet traditional customs such as praying to “Ong Cong – Ong Tao” and placing a tray of five fruits on the altar.
– Xong dat (first-footer): It is a special activity and one of the most important rituals during Tet. According to Vietnamese culture, it is believed that fortune will be determined by the first person who visits the family on the first day of Lunar New Year. Therefore, a person of excellent health, moral characteristics and admirable achievements will be invited to take a first step into the house as a lucky sign for the entire year.
– Chuc Tet & Li xi (Tet traditional greetings and lucky money): People usually greet and wish each other happiness, prosperity and good health on the first day of New Year.
A little amount of money is placed nicely in a red envelope and then it will be given to the children as a wish of luck and success will come to them in the New Year.
– Hai loc dau nam (Springtime fortune): On the first day of Tet holiday, many Vietnamese people will visit pagodas, temples and shrines after the New Year ceremony. Then, they will return home with some incense sticks that they burnt for their worshiping rituals, as well as the buds from the banyan-tree, peach blossom tree or ochna integerrima. In Vietnamese, “Bud” means “Loc” – “perks and favors”, which symbolizes a long and bright future ahead.
📋 𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗗𝗢 𝗬𝗢𝗨 𝗡𝗘𝗘𝗗 𝗧𝗢 𝗣𝗥𝗘𝗣𝗔𝗥𝗘?
🌟 The following are the traditional activities you need to do in order to get ready for a thorough Tet.
🧽 Cleaning the house: This is our first traditional custom which has been kept over many generations. Vietnamese people believe that cleaning the house helps the owners sweep away all the bad luck and terrible things. The lucky fortune will visit clean, neat and tidy houses on the first day of the year.
💄“Remaking” yourself: Tet is time for changes. Trying on a new hairstyle with a different color is a great idea to start the year. A new look means you’re ready to explore new horizons in a better person.
🎏 Putting up decorations: Placing a peach tree (in the North) or an Ochna integerrima (in Central and SouthernVietnam) is one of the best ways to bring the Tet atmosphere to your home, because “The more beautiful the Ochna tree is, the luckier the family is on New Year”.
💖 Last but not least, don’t forget to have these items ready for yourself:
– Red envelopes: The red color represents good fortune and prosperity. Giving lucky money to children is a typical feature of Tet.
– A branch with apricot blossoms is a must to breathe a spring atmosphere into any corner of your home.
– Delicious sweets and candies for all the guests visiting on the first week of New Year.
🤔 𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗧𝗢 𝗘𝗔𝗧 𝗢𝗡 𝗧𝗘𝗧 𝗛𝗢𝗟𝗜𝗗𝗔𝗬?
🧧 If you live in Vietnam or would love to experience the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, you must eat and learn about these 3 delicious Vietnamese traditional dishes during the Vietnamese Lunar New year.
– Banh Chung (Square glutinous rice cake): This cake represents respect for the ancestors, the earth and the sky. Additionally, it highlights the significant role of rice and nature in Vietnamese culture.
– Hat dua (Melon seeds): Thanks to their brilliant color, the roasted melon seeds are considered a symbol of fortune in the New Year. The taste is even more delectable if you pair the flavor with a cup of tea.
– Mut (Candied fruits): These are a welcome gift for guests visiting the house during Tet holiday. Every Vietnamese family typically keeps a box full of candies, with a variety of tastes like ginger, coconut or tamarind.