The Tet holiday, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, is a significant time in Vietnam, marking the start of spring according to the lunar calendar. This celebration, deeply embedded in Vietnamese culture, transforms the country with colorful decorations and bustling markets.

As the most important festival in Vietnam, the Tet holiday is a time for renewal, family bonding, and honoring ancestors. 

(Photo : Screenshot image taken from Exotic Voyages on YouTube)

Through this blog, you will learn about the various ways Vietnamese people celebrate this special time, from preparation to festivities. Understanding the Tet holiday allows you to see how traditions continue in modern Vietnam.

Preparations for Tet

In the weeks before the Tet holiday, Vietnamese families are busy preparing. They clean and decorate their homes, a practice symbolizing the removal of bad luck from the previous year to make room for good fortune. Homes are decorated with kumquat trees and peach or apricot blossoms, symbolizing prosperity and happiness.

Shopping for the Tet holiday is also a significant activity, with markets full of traditional foods and decorative items.

Traditional Foods of the Tet Holiday

Food is central to the Tet holiday celebrations. Families come together to cook and share traditional dishes. Bánh chưng, a square sticky rice cake with mung beans and pork, is a common dish. This food symbolizes the Earth and honors ancestors when placed on family altars. Other foods include pickled onions, boiled chicken, and various sweets and fruits, each with its own meaning for luck and prosperity.

(Photo : Screenshot image taken from Exotic Voyages on YouTube)

Tet Customs and Activities

The Tet holiday includes customs and activities focused on good fortune. A unique tradition is the giving and receiving of red envelopes containing money, known as "li xi." This is mainly for children and symbolizes good luck and prosperity.

Visiting relatives and friends is also common, strengthening family bonds and community ties. People wear their best clothes, visit temples, and join local festivities.

Related Article: Why Vietnam is Considered the Safest Country to Visit in 2024

Festive Atmosphere and Decorations

The atmosphere during the Tet holiday is lively. Streets and homes are brightly decorated with red and yellow, colors representing good luck and wealth. Lanterns, calligraphy banners, and ornamental kumquat trees are common. The air is filled with traditional music and the sounds of people celebrating.

Respect for Ancestors

Respecting ancestors is an essential part of the Tet holiday. Vietnamese families visit graves, clean ancestral altars, and offer food and incense to honor those who have passed. This practice reflects the Vietnamese value of filial piety and respect for family lineage.

Why Tet Holiday is So Important to Vietnamese People

The Tet holiday is an important cultural event in Vietnam. It is a time for family, reflection, and hope. As you observe the customs and activities during Tet, you gain a deeper understanding of Vietnamese traditions and values. The Tet holiday is a memorable experience that showcases the spirit of Vietnamese culture. 

It brings families together, highlights the importance of heritage, and fills the air with joy and celebration. From the colorful street decorations to the intimate family gatherings, each aspect of Tet plays a role in creating a festive and meaningful atmosphere. This holiday not only marks the beginning of a new year but also strengthens the sense of community and national pride among the Vietnamese people.

Read Also: Everything You Need To Know About This Vietnamese Religion That Worships Women