The full name of TET is Tết Nguyên Đá (= Lunar New Year)
TET is the biggest and most popular festival for all Vietnamese families. This annual New year celebration coincides with the Lunar New Year celebrated throughout the world, in January or February.
This year, it is very early, falling on January 25th. New year’s eve celebrations happened at home on the 24th with big and festive dinners. Then at 11pm, the families go to the temples to pray for the coming year.
The traditional greetings are “Chúc Mừng Năm Mới” (= Happy New Year) and “Cung Chúc Tân Xuân” (= gracious wishes of the new spring) Vietnamese people also wish each other good luck and prosperity, especially younger ones to elders.
TET is at the same time a very festive and a very quiet time. It is festive and joyful before the first day of the new year with streets, markets and pagodas bustling with people and lion dances, and flowers everywhere. Then it gets very quiet as all shops and business remain closed for approximately one week to 9 days. This is a family holiday so everybody remains in his own family, in the provinces or in the big cities. Family spend time together, cooking and eating special food (“bánh chưng” is one of the very popular food for TET – a cake made with sticky rice, pork and mungo beans), welcoming family members and friends, going to the pagodas.
The 3 first days of TET are the most important: the first day of the year, 25th is the most important day and is really dedicated to the Family. Then 26th is more relaxed, to receive and to visit Friends. Finally 27th is a special day to celebrate and honor the deceased Ancestors of the family.
For international visitors, it is a great experience to have a stroll on Nguyen Hue avenue in the heart of HCMC. All the avenue is magnificently decorated with flowers and shows are performed. People gather there, all dressed with beautiful traditional clothes and taking pictures on the avenue. It is a great opportunity for visitors to take plenty of colorful photographies of the local daily life. The festivities on Nguyen Hue will start on 22/01 in the evening and will last until the 28th.
Superstitions are still very strong in Vietnam and this is a list you should follow if you want to act like the locals before TET:
You should pay all your debts before TET
You should sweep, clean and decorate your home
You should pay special attention to the altar in your house, decorating it with fruits, flowers and cakes.
You should buy new clothes
You should not wear black and white during TET
You should prepare lucky money “Lì xì” for children in red envelops
You should give presents to your family & friends
You should not use bad words
Basically, TET is a time for a new start. You have to forget old grievances and be ready to receive as much luck and good fortune for the upcoming year.
As 2020 is the year of Rat, this animal will be the prominent decoration design everywhere in the country!
According to Chinese astrology, 2020 is the Year of the Metal Rat. The Rat is generally believed to be a symbol of strong vitality and intelligence. This 2020 year of the Rat is supposed to be very auspicious and to bring an amazing prosperity for all signs!
So be ready to welcome it!
We will close for TET from January 22nd to 30th 2020 and we will be happy to welcome you again to join our interactive city tour after TET!