Tet Nguyen Dan or Tet is the most important and popular holiday and festival in Vietnam. It is the Festival Vietnamese New Year of spring based on the Lunar calendar.
Tet takes place from the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar until at least the third day. Many Vietnamese prepare for Tet by cooking special holiday foods and cleaning their house.
Tet Holiday is considered the best occasion for family members to return home and get together. They consider Tet to be the first day of spring and the festival is often called Hoi xuan (spring festival).
Vietnamese as in other countries, young people often gather at a place to watch fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Old people burn incense to pray and remember their ancestors. During subsequent days, people visit relatives and friends. Traditionally but not strictly, the second day of Tet is usually reserved for friends, while the third day is for teachers, who command respect in Vietnam.
There are a lot of customs practiced during Tet such as visiting a person’s house on the first day of the new year, ancestral worship, wishing New Year’s greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people and opening a shop.
Usually, a person of good temper, morality and success will be the lucky sign for the host family and be invited first into the house or shop.
Since the Vietnamese believe that the first visitor a family receives in the year determines their fortune for the entire year, people never enter any house on the first day without being invited first.
The act of being the first person to enter a house on Tet is called “xong dat” or “xong nha”, which is one of the most important rituals during Tết. According to Vietnamese tradition, if good things come to the family on the first day of the lunar New Year, the entire following year will also be full of blessings.
Before Tet comes, Shops often give New Year greeting cards to customers; Companies give greeting cards to their employees. The gift by card is very meaningful, it means thank to them and wishes the best things will become to them in the new year.
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