Tet Nguyen Dan (New Year Eve) of Vietnam


New Year Eve is one of the biggest and most beautiful festivals in Vietnam. Vietnamese considered this to be the most important festival to them, so they prepare a lot of things during this time. Exploring this festival will be a great knowledge to have if you are curious about Vietnamese.

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Visiting ancestor’s grave

Visiting ancestor grave @ Sau Chinh Chien

For thousand years, Vietnamese always keep the tradition to visit ancestor’s grave every New Year Eve. From 23 to 30 December every year, Vietnamese families gather to visit and clean the grave of their ancestors. When visiting the grave, they always bring incense and fruits to ask the ancestors to enjoy Tet together with them.

Celebrating Mr. Cong and Mr. Tao

A tray of food for celebrating Mr Tao @ Docungtamlinh

Vietnamese believe that 23 December each year is the day to see The Kitchen God( also called Mr. Tao) off as he goes back to the zenith.  In this day, the families usually clean the house and clean the kitchen, so that when Mr. Tao goes back to the zenith ( heaven in Buddha religion) he can report the good things about the previous year and ask for new years with good luck and peace.

According to the legend, every year Mr. Tao will ride a fish back to the zenith. So in order to worship Mr. Tao in 23rd December, the worshipping will take place in the kitchen and koi carp is essential.

Ancestors procession

According to the tradition, on 30 December each year, the Vietnamese families will prepare a small tray of food to ask the ancestors to come back and enjoy Tet with them. The first child will light an incense and put it on the altar to ask the ancestors to give them lots of good things in the next year. After that, the other members also with hand-crossed ask the spirits of the ancestors to come back and enjoy Tet with their child, their son.

Picking up the fortune

Picking the fortune @ Nguoi Quang xa que

At the night of New Year Eve, Vietnamese usually go to pagodas to ask for a peaceful new year that is full of good things for them and their family. After that, they will get a fortune on a tree to bring it home. According to the tradition, if the fortune is good looking, the owner will have a huge amount of luck.

Visit the house in New Year Eve

Another tradition which was well-kept by Vietnamese for thousands of year. People believe that the future of the host depends on the 1st person who visits their home in New Year Eve. Because of that, the host usually chose an acquaintance with a fit age to visit their home in hope that his/her family will encounter good lucks and things will always work out for them through the year.

Congratulating Tet and celebrating new age

Receiving lucky money @ Bao Moi

Congratulating Tet is a beautiful tradition in Vietnamese culture. Vietnamese will wish their families, their acquaintance a good health, peaceful life, rich and good luck.

Celebrating new age is another beautiful tradition. Asian believe that red is the color of luck. Because of that, the elders one usually give their child, grandchild lucky money within a red envelope to wish them good luck and success.

First trip in New Year.

First trip in new year eve @ Phong Thuy Trong Hung

Vietnamese believe that the first trip in the new year will affect their luck and this whole year. Because of that,  depends on the age of the host, they will choose a suitable time and a suitable direction in order to have a good year where everything will work out for him/her.

The forbidden things while celebrating Tet

According to the tradition, the whole new year depends on their actions during the few first days of the year. Vietnamese always try to avoid some actions like sweeping the floor on 1st January ( sweep out the luck), breaking things, raising their voice, fighting…

In the new year, they will not gift each other knives or medicines because this resembles sickness and death. Swearing at each other, complaining, crying or looking at mirror are also the signs of a bad year. Wearing all-black or white should also be avoided because this is the color of the funeral according to the tradition. This will bring bad luck to the family.

Hope you have a great time reading this article or in Vietnam should you choose to visit it.

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