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Lunar New Year in Vietnam

If Christmas and New year ( first day of the year) the most important holiday in Western countries, Lunar New Year ( Tet) is most significant  which best epitomizes Vietnam cultural identity.

Tet occurs from late January to mid Febuary, different year by year. It will the first day of Lunar Year, first day of Spring, first day of new beggining of the year. It is a time to reunite family, gather together to eat cozy meals, meet friends after long time no see. Besides, Tet is the accasion for Vietnamese to express their respect and remembrance for their ancestor as well as welcoming the New year with their beloved family member.

Before the New year day, every family do a lot of things. They decorate the house with a branch of peach flower decorate with balloons, kumquat trees decorated with sparkling lights, sugar cane on the both side of alter and Parallel sentences. They also clean and cleare the house carefully. It is common belief that cleaning the house will get rid of the bad fortunes associated with the old year. Some people will paint their house and decorate with festive items.

The ancester altar is especially taken care of, with a big plate of fruit. There are 5 different fruit, all colorful and meaningful. They make Tet more lively and sacred. In Asian mytholgy, the world is made of 5 basic elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The plate of fruits on the family altar at New year is one of several ways to represent this concept. It demonstrate the Vietnameses' desire for good crop and prosperity. We also put incent, rice wine, beer, candy, sticky-rice cake, biscuits, traditional foods and freshly cut flowers.

Before the new year day, Vietnamese go to cemetery to invite ancestor to get back home to celebrate Tet with them.

Getting new clothes is often the most exciting part of the Vietnamese New year among children. They will wear it at the first day of the new year, giving wishes to older people and getting the  Lucky Money in exchange. People give wished to each other and avoid to say any bad words.

During Tet holiday, almost restaurants, entertainment places closed but mostly they will open on the third day or fourth day of Tet. Temple, pagoda all opened as people come there pray happiness and prosperity for new year. If tourists travelling Vietnam during this time, you will get most special experience. Many hostel or homestay still open and they warmly welcome you to stay with them, sharing meals and chatting.
It is not a bad choice to travel during Tet holiday. 


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