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TET Vietnamese New Year

Vietnam February 13 2011

January and February are the most festive months for the Vietnamese people, TET otherwise known as the Vietnamese and Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most important Festival of the year.
This scared Festival happens somewhere between late January and early February, depending on Lunar Calendar.

This custom is sacred, no matter where people are or whatever the circumstances, family members ALWAYS try to find ways to come back home to be with their loved ones.

Although it’s officially only a 3 day event, festivities can easily continue for up to a week or more, with families and friends gathering to indulge in eating, drinking and other social activities.

It is also a time for family reunions, and for paying respect to ancestors and the elders, as well as inviting and welcoming deceased ancestors back for a family reunion with their descendants to join the family's Tet celebrations.

Everyone rushes around to buy new clothes, clean up their homes, visit friends, settle any outstanding debts, and stock up on traditional Tet delicacies, including banh chung; a square cake made of sticky rice stuffed with beans and pork, mang; a soup of boiled bamboo shoots and pork and xoi gac an orange sticky rice.

Local businesses hang bright red banners which read Chuc Mung Nam Moi meaning Happy New Year and the city streets come alive with colored lights and stalls springing up all over selling mut; which includes candied fruits and jams, traditional cakes, fresh fruit and flowers some stalls sell nothing but cone-shaped kumquat bushes, others have flowering peach trees, which are the symbols of life and good fortune.

If you plan to visit Vietnam during the time of Tet, you will be welcomed by a bounty of colorful flowers, with the peach in the North and the apricot blossoms in the South being symbolic of Vietnamese Tet.

The Giao Thua or New Year's Eve

This is the most sacred point of time; it is the passage from the old year into the new. It is popularly believed that there are 12 Highnesses in heaven their job is to control and check up on what’s happening on earth, each one taking charge of one year. After the Giao Thua begins a new year celebrated by local customs and practices, events and entertainment, reflective of the distinct Vietnamese culture.

Vietnam is a stunning holiday destination that provides stunning cultural experiences, beautiful landscapes and history and is a fantastic destination for the budget conscious.

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