Lunar New Year (Vietnamese “Tet” – Tet Nguyen Dan)

Lunar New Year
(Vietnamese “Tet” – Tet Nguyen Dan)
By Truong Van Chinh (Bruce)

Time: The 30th day of the twelfth Lunar month of the previous year to the 3rd day of the first lunar month of the New Year.
Place: Nationwide
Object of Worship: Grandparents and ancestors

Tet is the biggest and the most sacred festival. It’s the most attractive to a majority of the Vietnamese.

Tet falls on a time when the old year is over and the New Year comes by lunar calendar. This is also the time when the cycle of the universe finishes: Winter ends and spring, the season of birth of all living things come.

Tet is an occasion of pilgrims and family reunions. It’s a time when one pays respect to his/her ancestors and grandparents who have brought him/her up. It’s an occasion when everyone sends each other best wishes for a new year, stop thinking about unhappy things and say good things about each other.

On the 23rd day of the twelfth month by lunar calendar, there is a rite to see Tao Quan (kitchen God) off. The rite to say goodbye to the old year is held on the 30th or 29th day (if the month has only 29 days) of the twelfth month by lunar calendar. The rite to welcome the New Year is held at midnight of that day. The rite to see off ancestral souls to return to the other world is often held on the 3rd day of the first month by lunar calendar when the Tet holidays finish and everybody goes back to work.

During this season, there are a lot of good and delicious food (Vietnamese food) which all of the family does. And go to visit another person’s house on the first day of the New Year, wishing everybody a New Year happy, fun, successful, lucky…

And to say Happy New Year!