Vietnamese tet holiday: the biggest festival of the year

Tết Ngulặng Đán, more commonly known by its shortened name Tết, is the most important và popular holiday & festival in Vietphái nam. It is the Vietnamese New Year marking the arrival of spring based on the Lunar calendar. The name Tết Nguyên Đán is Sino-Vietnamese for Feast of the First Morning.

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The dates of Lunar New Year differs every year but it generally takes place around late January or February. Because of the fact that Vietnamese families are so close-knitted, Tet Holiday is considered the best occassion for family members to lớn return trang chủ và get together. During Tết, Vietnamese spkết thúc time shopping for the New Year, go to lớn Pagodas and Temples. The items of shopping range from food to lớn clothing to lớn decorations for the house. The Vietnamese believe that Tet Holiday is an occasion to enjoy life after a full hard-working year, thus people forget their struggles & focus on making the celebration as festive as possible. Due lớn the high regard in which people hold it, Tết, as often as not, is consumed with chất lượng, distinctive colors & flavors. Let’s take a look at some traditions and customs typical of this special holiday in Vietphái mạnh.


A Family Gathering during Tet Holiday. Photo: tapchitaichinh

1. Food

Bánh chưng (Sticky square cake)

Bánh Chưng is a food made from glutinous rice, mung bean and pork, added with many other ingredients. Bánh Chưng is covered by green leaves (usually banana leaves) & symbolizes the Earth, invented by the prince Lang Liêu from Hùng King dynasty. Besides traditional reason, Bánh Chưng is chosen as the main food for Tết holiday because of it can last long for days in Vietnamese weather (Banh Chung can survive sầu at room temperature for nearly 1 month).

Giò, chả (Vietnamese sausage)

Giò chả (Vietnamese ham/sausage) is another traditional food in Tết holiday, và usually served with Xôi (sticky rice) and Bánh Chưng. Giò is different from Chả since Giò is boiled & Chả is deep-fried. Chả is also made of lean pork and ingredients, but Chả is not wrapped by leaves & boiled but deep-fried in oil.


A family meal during Tet Holiday Photo: Bao Thanh khô Nien

Thịt kho hột vịt (Braised Pork Belly with Duông chồng Egg)

This dish is more popularly enjoyed in the South than in the North, however, noone can deny the irresistable aroma, flavor and the amazing compatibility of this dish with a bowl of steaming rice. The Pork Belly and Egg is cooked with coconut juice và fish sauce until it becomes tender và absorb all those amazing flavor. The dish is so universal and easy lớn make that it has become one of the most popular dishes served during Tet Holiday.

Xôi (Sticky rice)

Xôi is also a very important part of Têt holiday in Vietphái nam, along with Bánh Chưng, xôi is the main staple foods for Tết holiday. Xôi can be seen in many forms: Xôi Lạc (sticky rice with peanuts), Xôi Đỗ Xanh (sticky rice with mung bean), Xôi Gấc (sticky rice with special “gấc” fruit). Among muốn these types, xôi gấc is favorite the most by people because of its special red color – symbolizes the luchồng và new achievement for the New Year.

Mứt (Jam)

Mứt Tết (Tết jam) is not a food to lớn serve sầu in a meal during Tết holiday, but more lượt thích a snack khổng lồ welcome guests in this special period. This once-in-year set of snaông xã is very large in variety, with so many tastes: ginger, carrot, coconut, pinetáo khuyết, pumpkin, lotus seed, star fruit, etc.

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2. Traditional customs 

Even though many Vietnamese traditions are based on old cultural beliefs that may strike some as a little superstitious, families believe that their activities during Tết must involve happiness, joy, & good luông chồng. Below are some of the popular, long-standing Tết traditional customs that have stood the kiểm tra of time from generations lớn generations. 


Older family members give sầu the young lucky money. Photo: Tiep thi va Gia dinh

Giving Lì xì (lucky money)

The first day of Tết is reserved for the nuclear family. Children receive sầu a red envelope containing money from their elders. This tradition is called lì xì (happy new age) in the north và mừng tuổi in the south. Usually, children wear their new clothes & give sầu their elders the traditional Tết greetings before receiving the money.

Xông nhà

Since the Vietnamese believe sầu 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 khổng lồ enter a house on Tết is called xông khu đất, xông bên or giẫm đất, which is one of the most important rituals during Tết. According khổng lồ Vietnamese tradition, if good things come lớn the family on the first day of the lunar New Year, the entire following year will also be full of blessings. Usually, a person of good temper, morality và success will be the lucky sign for the host family and be invited first into lớn the house.

During subsequent days, people visit relatives & friends. Traditionally but not strictly, the second and even painting their trang chủ in anticipation of spring, settle old debts và disputes, and pledge to lớn behave nicely và work hard in the new year.

3. Decorations

Traditionally, each family displays “Cây nêu”, an artificial New Year Tree consisting of a bamboo pole 5 to lớn 6 m long. The top kết thúc is usually decorated with many objects, depending on the locality, including good luông chồng charms, origangươi fish, cactus branches, etc.

At Tết every house is usually decorated by hoa mai – Ochmãng cầu integerrima (in the central & southern parts of Vietnam) or hoa đào – peach flower (in the northern part of Vietnam) or hoa ban (in mountain areas). In the north or central, the kumquat tree is a popular decoration for the living room during Tết. Its bright orange-colored fruits represent the fertility và fruitfulness that the family hopes for in the coming year.


Hoa Mai – a symbol of Good Luck in the Tet Holiday. Photo:


Hoa Dao can be seen at Nhat Tan flower garden, is a symbol of Tet in the North



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