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"TET" holiday among Vietnamese

Tet is coming soon, a long holiday is waiting for all Vietnamese people from the North to the South.

What is Tet?

Tet is a Vietnamese New Year, which is the most important celebration for us. The original culture of Vietnamese Tet is from the Chinese luna calendar, which is a reason why Vietnamese New Year celebrates same day as Chinese New Year. We usually use put apricot trees in Central and South, while peach trees are used in North.

Apricot trees and peach trees

What do we do in Tet?

There are many kind of activities during Tet holiday. We have 3 important days during Tet, although the entire holiday is longer than that.

• 1st day: At the first day of the new year, parents/grandparents shall give some lucky money to their children and the children also prepare some new year messages to them. After that a whole family will go to the grave of their ancestors to keep their memories. Then, a whole family visits its relative’s house for a new year greeting. We also exchange some red envelopes with some money inside. 1st day is called as the family day.

“Li xi” is the traditional activity of Vietnamese during Tet holiday

• 2nd day: They stay at home to have some visitors of friends, colleagues, relatives and their neighbors. They also visit their friends and colleagues.

• 3rd day: Generally same day as the previous day. We, however, have one unique activity to visit teachers house. It becomes a party of reunion as students of old and young get together. 3rd day is called as the teacher day.

• From 4th day: No event is held as up to third days, but we still have some activities such as travelling or having a party.

Why do they spend so much time before Tet?

A small survey about Tet 2015 that Q&Me conduct

Vietnamese family get busier from 3-5 days before Tet holiday comes. There are a couple of things to prepare for that. For instance, they clean all rooms and put decoration for the holiday. They also shops foods and new clothes as the entire store would close during Tet holiday.

Beside that, they have to buy the Tet trees for their house. Those are apricot trees (the central and the south Vietnam) and peach trees (the North Vietnam). And in some Vietnamese family, they tend to cook Vietnamese traditional food such as “Bánh Chưng”.

Bánh Chưng is a traditional Vietnamese rice cake which is made from glutinous rice, mung beans, pork and other ingredients. Making and eating “Bánh Chưng” is a special point of Vietnamese cuture in Tet holiday.

Wrapping “bánh chưng” without mold (Image: Wiki)

Opinions about spending traditional new year

There are several opinions about Tet. Some professors point out the disadvantages of Tet from economical point of view. Now that holiday is long, it gives damages to the economical power and also the labors. It is true that some workers are not motivated to work after spending so many days off. This is true to students.

On the other side, there are several opinions to keep Tet as it is. Let us see some comments.

“We have worked for almost the year, we should have a long days off for Tet holiday to relax ourselves before working for next hard year. It’s also the time for us to look back our previous year to see how we’ve developed ourselves and to focus more or changing our career if it’s necessary.”

“Tet is a special point of Vietnamese culture, it reflects not only our culture, it’s also our history - a history of standing to defend attackers for hundreds year. We should not forget about our history even how the modern life we will become. That why we should keep it as our honour.”


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