Tet Nguyen Dan, also known as Lunar New Year, is the largest and oldest traditional festival, with the widest range of popularity in Vietnam. From the ancient centuries of the Ly, Tran and Le dynasties, our fathers celebrated the annual Tet holiday solemnly.
The Lunar New Year is the first and the most important stage in the Vietnamese festival system, but the "ceremony" as well as the "festival" are very rich in both content and form, carrying a profound humanistic value and bold.
The fact that our fathers defined the Lunar New Year right at the end of an old year, opening a new year according to the lunar calendar, is a cycle of cosmic operation, reflecting the spirit of harmony between people and nature (Earth-Heaven-Creature), the word NGUYEN means beginning, the word DAN means the morning, the beginning of the new year. At the same time, Tet is also an opportunity for families, relatives, neighbors, near and far relatives to gather, reunite, visit, pray for each other and pay tribute to their grandparents and ancestors.
Tet Festival in Vietnam usually falls in late January or early/mid-February. The dates vary from year to year as it is based on the lunar calendar. The celebration lasts one week or longer.
In 2020, Tet Festival is observed on January 25.
How is Tet Festival celebrated?
Since Tet is the most important festival for Vietnamese, preparations for celebration begins well in advance. They make offering and pray at temples about the two weeks before and immediately after Tet because visiting temples is considered auspicious. Many families visit the graves of ancestors in the week prior to Tet. Homes are cleaned and decorated with Hoa Mai (yellow apricot blossom), Hoa Dao (peach blossom), Kumquat tree and many other colorful flowers.
On the eve of Tet, they cook an abundance of food. On the first days of New Year, everybody, especially kids, wear new clothes and shoes to visit families and friends and enjoy the traditional Tet food like Banh Chung (a sticky rice cake). Many children receive “lucky money” in red envelopes.
Big replicas of yellow apricot are hung to decorate streets. Big replicas of yellow apricot are hung to decorate streets.
What does the Tet festival in Vietnam mean for tourists? It is a particularly good time to visit in Vietnam? Should I time my Vietnam visit to avoid Tet? Many travelers have such doubts in mind. To help you make the decision, here are some facts to know about Vietnam during Tet Holiday:
Here are some good parts of Tet for travelers:
Tips for travelling in Vietnam during Tet
If you're planning to visit Vietnam during Tet holiday, here are some tips.
All in all, if you're planning to visit Vietnam during or around Tet Holiday, be sure to prepare your trip ahead of time!