What to expect during Tet?

Just like Christmas, Tet (the Vietnamese New Year) is the most important celebration in the Vietnamese culture. The celebration repeats once every New Year based on the Chinese lunar calendar, which usually dates around the months of January and February on the solar calendar.




Tet is the time where family members reunite despite where they are. Even if the members lived somewhere faraway as America, the traditional would still follow the same way. During this time, Vietnamese visit their relatives and temples to pray for forgiveness of the past year, and luck for the upcoming year.



Other than visiting relatives and temples, Vietnamese people also celebrate Tet indoors with many special holiday foods like bánh chưng, bánh dày, dried young bamboo soup (canh măng), giò and sticky rice.




Beside the many preparations of Tet, there are some fun details such as visiting someone’s house on the first day of the new year (xông nhà), ancestral worshipping (not very fun), wishing New Year’s greetings, and giving lucky money towards the children and elders. The lucky money given from adults may be any amount but the main point is to give luck towards a new year ahead. Greetings may be to wish a new age, or luck in academics, or even wishing elders better health and enjoyment in the remaining life time. Greetings may differ as from children to elders, we may often say: Sống lâu trăm tuổi (Long life of 100 years), An khang thịnh vượng (Security, good health, and prosperity), Vạn sự như ý (May myriad things go according to your will), Sức khỏe dồi dào (Plenty of health), Tiền vô như nước (May money flow in like water) and many others.