Tết ([tet˧˥] or [təːt˧˥]), Vietnamese New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year or Tet Holiday, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. The word is a shortened form of Tết Nguyên Đán (節元旦), which is Sino-Vietnamese for "Feast of the First Morning of the First Day". Tết celebrates the arrival of spring based on the Vietnamese calendar, which usually has the date falling in January or February in the Gregorian calendar.
Vietnamese people celebrate the Lunar New Year annually, which is based on a lunisolar calendar (calculating both the motions of Earth around the Sun and of the Moon around Earth). Tết is generally celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year, except when the one-hour time difference between Vietnam and China results in new moon occurring on different days. It takes place from the first day of the first month of the Vietnamese calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day. Many Vietnamese prepare for Tết by cooking special holiday food and cleaning the house. These foods include bánh chưng, bánh dày, dried young bamboo soup (canh măng), giò, and sticky rice. Many customs are practiced during Tết, such as visiting a person's house on the first day of the new year (xông nhà), ancestor worship, wishing New Year's greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people, and opening a shop.
Tết is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. They start forgetting about the troubles of the past year and hope for a better upcoming year. They consider Tết to be the first day of spring, and the festival is often called Hội xuân (spring festival).
|Vietnamese New Year|
Tết at the Saigon Tax Trade Center (2012)
|Official name||Tết Nguyên Đán|
Lunar New Year (as a collective term including other Asian Lunar New Year festivals, used outside of Asia.)
|Observed by||Vietnamese people|
|Type||Religious, cultural, national|
|Significance||Marks the first day of the lunar new year|
|Celebrations||Lion dances, Dragon dances, fireworks, family gathering, family meal, visiting friends' homes on the first day of the new year (xông nhà), visiting friends and relatives, ancestor worship, giving red envelopes to children and elderly, and opening a shop.|
|2018 date||16 February, Dog|
|2019 date||5 February, Pig|
|2020 date||25 January, Rat|
|Related to||Chinese New Year, Korean New Year, Japanese New Year, Mongolian New Year, Tibetan New Year|
Vietnamese people usually return to their families during Tết. Some return to worship at the family altar or visit the graves of their ancestors in their homeland. They also clean the graves of their family as a sign of respect. Although Tết is a national holiday among all Vietnamese, each region and religion has its own customs.
Tết in the three Vietnamese regions can be divided into three periods, known as Tất Niên (penultimate New Year's Eve), Giao Thừa (New Year's Eve), and Tân Niên (the New Year), representing the preparation before Tết, the eve of Tết, and the days of and following Tết, respectively.
The first day of Tết is reserved for the nuclear family. Children receive a red envelope containing money from their elders. This tradition is called mừng tuổi (happy new age) in the north and lì xì in the south. Usually, children wear their new clothes and give their elders the traditional Tết greetings before receiving the money. 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 Tết is called xông đất, xông nhà or đạp đất, 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. 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. However, just to be safe, the owner of the house will leave the house a few minutes before midnight and come back just as the clock strikes midnight to prevent anyone else entering the house first who might potentially bring any unfortunate events in the new year to the household.
Sweeping during Tết is taboo or xui (unlucky), since it symbolizes sweeping the luck away; that is why they clean before the new year. It is also taboo for anyone who experienced a recent loss of a family member to visit anyone else during Tết.
During subsequent days, people visit relatives and friends. Traditionally but not strictly, the second day of Tết is usually reserved for friends, while the third day is for teachers, who command respect in Vietnam. Local Buddhist temples are popular spots as people like to give donations and to get their fortunes told during Tết. Children are free to spend their new money on toys or on gambling games such as bầu cua cá cọp, which can be found in the streets. Prosperous families can pay for dragon dancers to perform at their house. Also, public performances are given for everyone to watch.
These celebrations can last from a day up to the entire week, and the New Year is filled with people in the streets trying to make as much noise as possible using firecrackers, drums, bells, gongs, and anything they can think of to ward off evil spirits. This parade will also include different masks, and dancers hidden under the guise of what is known as the Mua Lan or Lion Dancing. The Lan is an animal between a lion and a dragon, and is the symbol of strength in the Vietnamese culture that is used to scare away evil spirits. After the parade, families and friends come together to have a feast of traditional Vietnamese dishes, and share the happiness and joy of the New Year with one another. This is also the time when the elders will hand out red envelopes with money to the children for good luck in exchange for Tết greetings.
It is also tradition to pay off your debts before the Lunar New Year for some Vietnamese families.
Traditionally, each family displays cây nêu, an artificial New Year tree consisting of a bamboo pole 5 to 6 m long. The top end is usually decorated with many objects, depending on the locality, including good luck charms, origami fish, cactus branches, etc.
At Tết, every house is usually decorated by Yellow Apricot blossoms (hoa mai) in the central and southern parts of Vietnam; or peach blossoms (hoa đào) in the northern part of Vietnam; or St. John's wort (hoa ban) in the mountain areas. In the north, some people (especially the elite in the past) also decorate their house with a plum blossoms (also called hoa mai in Vietnamese, but referring to a totally different species from mickey-mouse blossoms). In the north or central, the kumquat tree is a popular decoration for the living room during Tết. Its many fruits symbolize the fertility and fruitfulness for which the family hopes in the coming year.
Vietnamese people also decorate their homes with bonsai and flowers such as chrysanthemums (hoa cúc), marigolds (vạn thọ) symbolizing longevity, cockscombs (mào gà) in southern Vietnam and paperwhites (thủy tiên) and pansies (hoa lan) in northern Vietnam. In the past was a tradition where people tried to make their paperwhites bloom on the day of the observance.
The traditional greetings are "Chúc Mừng Năm Mới" (Happy New Year) and "Cung Chúc Tân Xuân", (gracious wishes of the new spring). People also wish each other prosperity and luck. Common wishes for Tết include:
In Vietnamese language, to celebrate Tết is to ăn Tết, literally meaning "eat Tết", showing the importance of food in its celebration. Some of the food is also eaten year-round, while other dishes are only eaten during Tết. Also, some of the food is vegetarian since it is believed to be good luck to eat vegetarian on Tết. Some traditional foods on Tết are:
People enjoy traditional games during Tết, including: bầu cua cá cọp, cờ tướng, ném còn, chọi trâu, and đá gà. They also participate in some competitions presenting their knowledge, strength, and aestheticism, such as the bird competition and ngâm thơ competition.
Fireworks displays have also become an traditional part of a Tết celebration in Vietnam. During the New Year's Eve, fireworks displays at major cities, such as Hà Nội, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang, are broadcast through multiple national and local TV channels, accompanied by New Year wishes of the incumbent president. In 2017 only, fireworks displays were prohibited due to political and financial reasons. In the U.S., there are fireworks displays at many of its festivals.
Gặp nhau cuối năm (Year-end Gathering) is a national favourite comedy show broadcast during the night before the New Year's Eve.
From 1996 to 2067.
|Tý (Rat)||19 February 1996||7 February 2008||25 January 2020||11 February 2032||30 January 2044||15 February 2056|
|Sửu (Buffalo)||7 February 1997||26 January 2009||12 February 2021||31 January 2033||17 February 2045||4 February 2057|
|Dần (Tiger)||28 January 1998||14 February 2010||1 February 2022||19 February 2034||6 February 2046||24 January 2058|
|Mẹo (Cat)||16 February 1999||3 February 2011||22 January 2023||8 February 2035||26 January 2047||12 February 2059|
|Thìn (Dragon)||5 February 2000||23 January 2012||10 February 2024||28 January 2036||14 February 2048||2 February 2060|
|Tỵ (Snake)||24 January 2001||10 February 2013||29 January 2025||15 February 2037||2 February 2049||21 January 2061|
|Ngọ (Horse)||12 February 2002||31 January 2014||17 February 2026||4 February 2038||23 January 2050||9 February 2062|
|Mùi (Goat)||1 February 2003||19 February 2015||6 February 2027||24 January 2039||11 February 2051||29 January 2063|
|Thân (Monkey)||22 January 2004||8 February 2016||26 January 2028||12 February 2040||1 February 2052||17 February 2064|
|Dậu (Rooster)||9 February 2005||28 January 2017||13 February 2029||1 February 2041||18 February 2053||5 February 2065|
|Tuất (Dog)||29 January 2006||16 February 2018||2 February 2030||22 January 2042||8 February 2054||26 January 2066|
|Hợi (Pig)||18 February 2007||5 February 2019||23 January 2031||10 February 2043||28 January 2055||14 February 2067|
Bánh chưng is a traditional Vietnamese rice cake which is made from glutinous rice, mung beans, pork and other ingredients. Its origin is told by the legend of Lang Liêu, a prince of the last king of the Sixth Hùng Dynasty, who became the successor thanks to his creation of bánh chưng and bánh giầy, which symbolized, respectively, the earth and the sky. Considered an essential element of the family altar on the occasion of tết, the making and eating of bánh chưng during this time is a well-preserved tradition of Vietnamese people. Beside the tết holiday, bánh chưng is also eaten all year round as Vietnamese cuisine.Bánh in
Bánh in ("print cake" "seal cake") is a Vietnamese cake from the Huế area given at Tết, Lunar New Year. The cakes are often stamped with an auspicious Sino-Vietnamese character such as "Tho" for long life.Bánh tét
Bánh tét is a Vietnamese savoury but sometimes sweetened cake made primarily from glutinous rice, which is rolled in a banana leaf into a thick, log-like cylindrical shape, with a mung bean or mung bean and pork filling, then boiled. After cooking, the banana leaf is removed and the cake is sliced into wheel-shaped servings.Cold Food Festival
The Cold Food or Hanshi Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday which developed from the local commemoration of the death of the Jin nobleman Jie Zitui in the 7th century BC under the Zhou dynasty, into an occasion across East Asia for the commemoration and veneration of ancestors by the 7th-century Tang dynasty. Its name derives from the tradition of avoiding the lighting of any kind of fire, even for the preparation of food. This practice originally occurred at midwinter for as long as a month, but the hardship this involved led to repeated attempts to ban its observance out of concern for its practitioners. By the end of the Three Kingdoms Period (3rd century), it was limited to three days in the spring around the Qingming solar term. Under the Tang, ancestral observance was limited to the single day which is now celebrated as the Tomb-Sweeping Festival. The Cold Food Festival is not an official holiday in any country or region, but it continues to see some observance in China, South Korea, and Vietnam.Ghost Festival
The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, Zhongyuan Jie (中元節), Gui Jie (鬼節) or Yulan Festival (traditional Chinese: 盂蘭盆節; simplified Chinese: 盂兰盆节; pinyin: Yúlánpénjié; Cantonese Jyutping: jyu4 laan4 pun4 zit3) is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival held in certain Asian countries. According to the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 15th night of the seventh month (14th in parts of southern China). In Chinese culture, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Distinct from both the Qingming Festival (or Tomb Sweeping Day, in spring) and Double Ninth Festival (in autumn) in which living descendants pay homage to their deceased ancestors, during Ghost Festival, the deceased are believed to visit the living.On the fifteenth day the realms of Heaven and Hell and the realm of the living are open and both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased. Intrinsic to the Ghost Month is veneration of the dead, where traditionally the filial piety of descendants extends to their ancestors even after their deaths. Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss paper, a papier-mâché form of material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors. Elaborate meals (often vegetarian meals) would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living. Ancestor worship is what distinguishes Qingming Festival from Ghost Festival because the latter includes paying respects to all deceased, including the same and younger generations, while the former only includes older generations. Other festivities may include, buying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies giving directions to the lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors and other deities.Hàng Trống painting
Hàng Trống painting (Vietnamese: Tranh Hàng Trống) is a genre of Vietnamese woodcut painting that originated from the area of Hàng Trống (vi) and Hàng Nón streets in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Vietnam. In the past, Hang Trong painting was an essential element of the Tết holiday in Hanoi, but today this tradition almost has disappeared and authentic Hang Trong paintings are found only in museums or fine art galleries. However, the art of making Hang Trong paintings is always considered a symbol of traditional culture and aesthetic value of Vietnam.Lai Vung District
Lai Vung is a district (huyện) of Đồng Tháp Province, the old name is Đức Thành
District in Sa Dec Province in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.
As of 2003 the district had a population of 160,125. The district covers an area of 220 km². The district capital lies at Lai Vung township. This district is famous for its Mandarin orange which usually ripens in Tết holiday season and for the master craftman of boat in Long Hau commune. Other specialities are Nem Lai Vung- a kind of fermented pork and Phong Hoa pomelo.Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated notably by the Chinese,Vietnamese and Korean people.The festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar with full moon at night, corresponding to late September to early October of the Gregorian calendar with a full moon at night.Mooncakes, a rich pastry typically filled with sweet bean paste or lotus seed paste are traditionally eaten during the festival.Mooncake
A mooncake (simplified Chinese: 月饼; traditional Chinese: 月餅; pinyin: yuèbing, yuèbǐng; Jyutping: jyut6 beng2; Yale: yuht béng) is a Chinese bakery product traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節). The festival is for lunar appreciation and moon watching, when mooncakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy. Mooncakes are offered between friends or on family gatherings while celebrating the festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the four most important Chinese festivals.
Typical mooncakes are round pastries, measuring about 10 cm in diameter and 3–4 cm thick, and are commonly eaten in the Southern and Northern Chinese regions. A rich thick filling usually made from red bean or lotus seed paste is surrounded by a thin (2–3 mm) crust and may contain yolks from salted duck eggs. Mooncakes are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by tea. Today, it is customary for businessmen and families to present them to their clients or relatives as presents, helping to fuel a demand for high-end mooncakes.
Due to China's influence, mooncakes and Mid-Autumn Festival are also enjoyed and celebrated in other parts of Asia. Mooncakes have also appeared in western countries as a form of delicacy.Mì Quảng
Mì Quảng (also spelled mỳ Quảng) (literally: Quảng style noodle), is a Vietnamese noodle dish that originated from Quảng Nam Province in central Vietnam. In the region, it is one of the most popular and nationally recognized food items, and served on various occasions such as at family parties, death anniversaries, and Tết. Mì Quảng can also be found in many restaurants around the country, and is a popular lunch item.Paris by Night 101
Paris By Night 101: Hạnh Phúc Đầu Năm is a Paris By Night program produced by Thúy Nga Productions that was filmed at Pechanga Resort and Casino, California on November 13 & 14, 2010. This is the fourth Paris by Night program celebrating Tết followed three previous editions:
Paris by Night 85: Xuân Trong Kỷ Niệm (2007), Paris By Night 80: Tết Khắp Mọi Nhà (2006) and Paris By Night 76: Xuân Tha Hương (2005). The DVD was released on January 14, 2011.Paris by Night 80
Paris By Night 80: Tết Khắp Mọi Nhà (Lunar New Year Among Every House) is a Paris By Night program produced by Thúy Nga that was filmed at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto, Canada on October 29, 2005.Public holidays in Vietnam
Public holidays in Vietnam are days when workers get the day off work. Prior to 2007, Vietnamese workers observed 8 days of public holiday a year, among the lowest in the region. On 28 March 2007 the government added the traditional holiday commemorating the mythical Hùng Kings to its list of public holidays, increasing the number of days to 10. As in most other nations, if a holiday falls during the weekend, it is observed on the following Monday.Qingming Festival
The Qingming or Ching Ming festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English (sometimes also called Chinese Memorial Day or Ancestors' Day), is a traditional Chinese festival observed by the Han Chinese of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand. It falls on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year. During Qingming, Chinese families visit the tombs of their ancestors to clean the gravesites, pray to their ancestors, and make ritual offerings. Offerings would typically include traditional food dishes, and the burning of joss sticks and joss paper. The holiday recognizes the traditional reverence of one's ancestors in Chinese culture.
The Qingming Festival has been observed by the Chinese for over 2500 years. It became a public holiday in mainland China in 2008. In Taiwan, the public holiday was in the past observed on 5 April to honor the death of Chiang Kai-shek on that day in 1975, but with Chiang's popularity waning, this convention is not being observed. A similar holiday is observed in the Ryukyu Islands, called Shīmī in the local language.
In mainland China, the holiday is associated with the consumption of qingtuan, green dumplings made of glutinous rice and Chinese mugwort or barley grass. A similar confection called caozaiguo or shuchuguo, made with Jersey cudweed, is consumed in Taiwan.Tet Offensive
The Tet Offensive (Vietnamese: Sự kiện Tết Mậu Thân 1968), or officially called The General Offensive and Uprising of Tet Mau Than 1968 (Vietnamese: Tổng Tiến công và Nổi dậy Tết Mậu Thân 1968) by North Vietnam and the Viet Cong, was one of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War, launched on January 30, 1968, by forces of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese People's Army of Vietnam against the forces of the South Vietnamese Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States Armed Forces, and their allies. It was a campaign of surprise attacks against military and civilian command and control centers throughout South Vietnam. The name of the offensive comes from the Tết holiday, the Vietnamese New Year, when the first major attacks took place.The offensive was launched prematurely in the late night hours of 30 January in the I and II Corps Tactical Zones of South Vietnam. This early attack allowed South Vietnamese and US forces some time to prepare defensive measures. When the main North Vietnamese operation began the next morning, the offensive was countrywide and well coordinated; eventually more than 80,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops struck more than 100 towns and cities, including 36 of 44 provincial capitals, five of the six autonomous cities, 72 of 245 district towns, and the southern capital. The offensive was the largest military operation conducted by either side up to that point in the war.
Hanoi had launched the offensive in the belief that the offensive would trigger a popular uprising leading to the collapse of the South Vietnamese government. Although the initial attacks stunned both the U.S. and South Vietnamese armies, causing them to lose control of several cities temporarily, they quickly regrouped, beat back the attacks, and inflicted heavy casualties on North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces. The popular uprising anticipated by Hanoi never happened. During the Battle of Huế, intense fighting lasted for a month, resulting in the destruction of the city. During their occupation, the North Vietnamese executed thousands of people in the Massacre at Huế. Around the U.S. combat base at Khe Sanh, fighting continued for two more months. The offensive was a military defeat for North Vietnam though General Westmoreland reported that defeating the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong would require 200,000 more American soldiers and activation of the reserves, prompting even loyal supporters of the war to see that the current war strategy required re-evaluation. The offensive had a strong effect on the U.S. government and shocked the U.S. public, which had been led to believe by its political and military leaders that the North Vietnamese were being defeated and incapable of launching such an ambitious military operation; American public support for the war soon declined and the U.S. sought negotiations to end the war.
The term "Tet Offensive" usually refers to the January–February 1968 offensive, but it can also include the so-called "Mini-Tet" offensive that took place in May and the Phase III Offensive in August, or the 21 weeks of unusually intense combat which followed the initial attacks in January.Tet Truce
The Tết Truce was traditionally a time of ceasefire that occurred between North Vietnam and South Vietnam in honor of the Tết holiday. The truce was ended by North Vietnam in 1968 during the Tet Offensive.Thịt kho tàu
Caramelized pork and eggs (Vietnamese: Thịt kho tàu) is a Vietnamese dish consisting of marinated pork and boiled eggs braised in coconut juice.
Although it is a normal everyday dish, in southern Vietnam, it is one of the traditional foods during Tết (or Lunar New Year). Before the dish is served for general consumption, the dish is offered to deceased ancestors or family members on altars.
In Vietnam, rice is commonly served along with the dish.Tết Đoan Ngọ
Tết Đoan Ngọ is the Vietnamese version of Chinese Duanwu festival (literally: Tết: festival, Đoan: the start/straight/middle/righteousness/just, Ngọ: at noon (from 11 am to 1 pm). Đoan Ngọ is the moment that the sun is the most near the earth and this day often is "The middle day of summer" (Hạ chí). In Vietnam, this day is also the death anniversary of National Mother Âu Cơ.
Compare to Cantonese Chinese term "dyun eng" (which is duan wu in Mandarin Chinese) ngo/eng/wu all refer to the ancient Chinese calendar term: the seventh of the twelve Earthly Branches, which was a component for determining time based on a series of 60 years (just as today we refer to 100 year periods as centuries).) Ngo/eng/wu refers to the sun at noon.
Tết Đoan Dương (Dương: yang) - yang being sun
Tết Trùng Ngũ (Trùng: double, Ngũ: the fifth),
Tết Đoan Ngũ, Tết Trùng Nhĩ or Tết Nửa Năm (Nửa Năm: a half of a year) is a festival celebrated at noon on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. This day is the day around the time when the tail of the Great Bear points directly to the south, that is, around the time of the summer solstice. At this time, the universe brings the greatest amount of yang or maleness in the entire year. Therefore, creatures and people must become stronger in both their health and their souls to overcome this.Vietnamese calendar
The Vietnamese calendar is a lunisolar calendar that is mostly based on the Chinese calendar. As Vietnam's official calendar has been the Gregorian calendar since 1954, the Vietnamese calendar is used mainly to observe lunisolar holidays and commemorations, such as Tết and Mid-Autumn Festival.