Lunar New Year in Vietnam
Tet Holiday is the biggest annual celebration of Vietnam in the first days of lunar New Year. During these days, people welcome a new coming year with good health, lucks and success. Tet holiday is very special for Vietnamese families to reunite and celebrate together.
The preparation for Tet holiday is taken place very soon because it requires many steps. All members of families clean and redecorate their houses together. Then, they buy food, drink such as cookies, sweets, candied fruit, melon seeds...to offer their guests and to store because in this occasion, many shops are closed. A branch of peach flower or a kumquat tree cannot be absent from every home during these special days. Children are the most eager, as their parents will buy them new clothes. In addition to buying things, many Vietnamese families make Chung cake, pickled onion, frozen meat, which are our country's traditional food on Tet holiday. We decorate ancestral altars with a five-fruit tray, vegetables, sweets, and flowers.
In the last day of the previous year, people become more excited as they feel that the New Year is very near to them. Everybody all waits for the sacred moment when the clock points 0 am and fireworks light up everywhere to wish for health, lucks and happiness in the next year. Streets are extremely crowded. On contrary, in the first morning of the year, everything seems peaceful and quiet as people want to sleep longer to enjoy the moment with their cozy family. However, there are some families getting up early to come back to their hometown to visit their ancestors' graves and relatives. From noon on, everybody go to their neighbors' houses to wish them a happy new year. Children in new clothes are very excited, as they will get lucky money from adults.
There are many activities to welcome new coming spring in this occasion. Children usually take up pens to write their first essay, hoping for good results in school. In spring festivals, everyone especially the young takes part in the traditional games such as rollercoaster, tug of war, cooking rice, cock fighting etc. to express their happiness while farmers wish for bumper crops. Women often go to pagodas to show Buddha their hearts and wish their families good things and power to avoid bad lucks. During the first days of New Year, Vietnamese people do things that are supposed to be good for themselves and their loved ones such as wearing red clothes, buying salt, taking chance or praying... and avoid saying taboos(related to death, breaking...). Each region in Vietnam has it own customs to celebrate Tet, which are very special and unique.
"Tet" is the word that is very familiar to Vietnamese people whenever we think about our country. This is the time for family reunion, for festivals, and for people to give love to their loved one. As for me, I enjoy the warm and cozy Tet's atmosphere when all members of my family stay and talk together.