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Traditional Vietnamese Lunar New Year 2020
If you are an Asian, you will know what is coming. Yes, the biggest event- Lunar New Year 2020 -will happen around 10 days. So, for those who don’t know about this essential holiday, read this MACSARA post now and you will get more interesting surprises.
What is Lunar New Year?
Lunar New Year is the most important holiday and festival in Vietnam as well as many Asian countries like China, Singapore, Korea, Hongkong… It marks the arrival of spring based on the Lunar calendar, a lunisolar calendar so it has this name. It is also called Tet or Tet Nguyen Dan. The meaning of the name Tet Nguyen Dan is Sino-Vietnamese for Feast of the very First Morning. It bears the deep and unique national culture, reflecting the spirit of harmony between people and nature according to the operation cycle of the universe.
When Is Lunar New Year?
Tet takes place from the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar until at least the third day (around late January or early February). The reason why it’s on a different date each year is that the calendar goes by the cycle of the moon. What Vietnamese prepare for Tet is cooking special holiday foods and cleaning their house. Besides, some customs like visiting a person’s house on the first day of the new year, ancestral worship, wishing New Year’s greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people are practiced during these special days. Vietnamese families also buy some types of flowers like a peach blossom, kumquat trees, chrysanthemums or orchids to decorate their homes.
According to the traditional conception of Vietnamese people, Lunar New Year is the occasion for reunions to expand the relationship of neighbors, teachers and friends, old friends… It is also to summarize all activities related to the past year, to welcome a new year with good hope for individuals and for the community.
Before New Year’s Eve
This is the period that begins one or two weeks before the actual celebration. The bustle and hustle of shopping, decorating the home, cooking traditional Tet food and waiting for relatives to return home are a general atmosphere. Therefore, the streets and markets are full of people. Most people try to pay off their debts in advance so that they can be debt-free on Tet. They also have a family altar, to pay respect to their ancestors. Vietnamese families prepare a tray of five different fruits on their altar.
Chung cake is a special holiday food that has extensive preparations. Another popular traditional food in Tet is Mut (candied fruits) which is not served in the meals but a snack to welcome guests visiting the house and always kept in beautiful boxes and placed at the table in the living room.
The New Year
On the first day of Lunar New Year, children will wear their new clothes, give their elders the traditional Tet greetings before receiving the lucky money from them in exchange. The traditional greetings are Happy New Year or gracious wishes of the new spring. People also wish each other prosperity and luck. During subsequent days, people visit relatives and friends or teachers.
Time to Tet is counting down so you should experience this extremely special event at least once in a life.