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 Tết- Vietnamese New Year Holiday Resource
About Tết- Vietnamese New Year
Tet is the shortened name for Tet nguyen dan. It is the Vietnamese New Year. Tet, means the first morning of the first day of the new year. It is the most important and popular holiday and festival in Vietnam. Vietnamese people are celebrating this festival for over 4,000 years. The name tet nguyen dan is sino-vietnamese name derived from the han nôm characters which means feast of the first morning. Tet is celebrated almost on the same day as Chinese New Year however some exceptions arise due to the one-hour time difference between Hanoi and Beijing. Tet falls on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar which is around late January or early February in Gregorian calendar. Officially, the national holiday of Tet lasts for three days. However, in practice it is closer to a week or ten days. There are a lot of customs practiced during Tet. Vietnamese celebrate this day by cleaning the house and cooking special foods. Homes are cleaned to get rid of bad fortune associated with the old year. Families paint their homes to give it a new look. The other customs also include ancestral worshipping, wishing New Year’s greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people, and opening a shop. During this day, Vietnamese visit their temples and relative’s homes. Everyone in the family gets new clothes and new shoes. Family members exchange gifts and pay homage to the kitchen god. Families plant a new year's tree called cay neu in front of their homes. A bamboo pole is also often used as a cay neu. A special ceremony called le tru tich is held at the mid-night hour called as giao thua on New Year’s Eve. The ritual involves firecrackers and gongs and other festive items to usher out the old and welcome the new. It is customary in Vietnam that people pay back their debts before Tet to resolve differences between family and friends.
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