[Newsletter | December, 2021] – Traditional Vietnamese New Year’s Day, Now and Then

In Vietnam, the traditional Tet is also known as the Lunar New Year. It is the official Tet holiday of Vietnam, marking the arrival of spring based on the lunar calendar. It is by far, the most important and most popular festival for Vietnamese people. The Vietnamese day of Tet is always celebrated on the first day of the lunar calendar, but since the phases of the moon are not synchronized with the earth’s revolutions around the sun, the day of Tet varies from year to year on the Gregorian solar calendar between January 20 and February 20. The Vietnamese hold a strong belief that there are 12 sacred animals from the Zodiac that annually take turns overseeing and directing the affairs of the earth. Thus, the lunar New Year’s Eve is the time to cede the management to a new animal in the order of the 12 sacred animals.

The meaning of Vietnamese traditional Tet

Lunar New Year is the full name of the traditional Tet holiday. And the purpose of the traditional Vietnamese New Year Day is to thank the gods for the coming of spring with a variety of colorful flowers and blooming trees after a harsh and cold winter. One Vietnamese tradition practiced in the first days of the New Year is the special occasion of making pilgrimages to temples and pagodas. Family members gather together to welcome a new year, hope for a better life, and say goodbye to the previous year. Since Tet is one of the most important festivals for Vietnamese people, everything must be carefully prepared according to traditions. Everyone greets one-another with best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year that is full of abundant success throughout the year.

See also  Welcome Mr. James Kang - Our Board of Directors to Vietnam!

The difference between the Vietnamese traditional Tet now and then

As time passed, people, the country, everything gradually changed and developed to adapt to the present. Therefore, the traditions practiced on Vietnamese New Year Day also gradually change from time to time. Let’s explore some of the differences between the past and present Tet.

Traditional Vietnamese New Year in the past

Tet holiday has always been a time to rest, but in the past, more importantly the Vietnamese worked hard all year round and only could enjoy special delicious dishes on New Year Day. Therefore, the preparation for Tet is very important even today. People schedule raising pigs to prepare meat for Tet. Banh chung packages, a very unique Vietnam rice and pork food preparation, are also prepared very early from the beginning of lunar December. The annual traditions of preparing, cooking, and eating the banh chung serve to refresh family bonds during the Tet holiday season.

Dishes with pickled onions in the past always appear in every house during Tet. Pickled onions are listed in the six typical items of the old Vietnamese traditional New Year: “trees, firecrackers, green banh chung, fatty meat, pickled onions, and red couplets”.

Speaking of red couplets, do you know what this is? A red couplet is a pair of red colored scrolls that are exhibited, fully unrolled and hanging vertically, during the Tet holidays. They display simple but inspiring poetry written in beautifully artistic calligraphy. Although originated in Asia over 1,000 years ago, red couplets are still popular today and believed to bring blessings to Vietnam families.

See also  [Newsletter | June, 2022] - The Importation & Exportation of Turmeric Market

The social atmosphere of Tet begins on December 23 (lunar), when every family sees the “kitchen god”, Mr. Tao, off to worship God in heaven. From the 24th day of the Lunar New Year onwards, the atmosphere becomes bustling and children enthusiastically watch fireworks in the communal yard. Adults go to pay tribute to grandparents’ graves, clean ancestral altars, do general house cleaning, etc. From December 27 to 30, the family takes care of pig slaughter, packs of banh chung, che lam preparation, and cooks sweet peanut candy, …

Vietnamese traditional Tet today

Along with the development of the country, life is more and more full, so eating and drinking on Tet holiday is no longer special. In the past, Vietnamese people often waited the whole year for the only special day, New Year Day, when they could eat a piece of banh chung, pork, chicken… Now, banh chung is sold all year round in the market. Fish and various meats are a daily food. Therefore, these are no longer special and basic dishes on Tet holiday. Many families still maintain the wrapping of banh chung, but just for fun, to create a meaningful atmosphere of Tet. The preparation of Tet is not as complicated and difficult as before. All items from fruit, cake, food, drink… are easily acquired in just one or two trips to vendors in the local market or at a supermarket. Besides, many families are now choosing to celebrate Tet according to the trend of traveling abroad. Although there are a few differences compared to older Tet traditions in preparing for Vietnamese traditional Tet, in general, Vietnamese people are still aware of preserving their national identity in ancestor worship and, importantly, family members reuniting together to celebrate Tet.

See also  Adding 2 New Shipping Routes Directly To The US From Cai Mep International Port in June 2021, Confirming The Great Import And Export Potential Between Vietnam And The US

At the beginning of this new year of the Tiger, Noble Network would like to wish you a beautiful spring, and a new year where everything is satisfactory, successful, and lucky. We wish you have a Tet with lots of joy and happiness with family and friends! Happy New Year!

2 thoughts on “[Newsletter | December, 2021] – Traditional Vietnamese New Year’s Day, Now and Then

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *