Tet holiday is the most important and popular holiday and festival in Vietnam. It marks the first days of the Lunar New Year in Asian countries and usually falls in late January or early/mid-February. Traditionally, on this occasion people will stay with family, enjoy many delicious dishes and send good wishes to each others. However, it is necessary to keep in mind some important things so that you can have a happy Tet holiday.
Things to do in Tet holiday
Wearing clothes in red
In Asian culture red color represents luck and prosperity. Therefore, wearing clothes in red or other bright colors will bring people prosperity, “red” for the whole year. In addition, giving red items can be consider as a wish for the lunar new year full of joy.
Buying salt in the year beginning
The Vietnamese have a saying that “At the beginning of the year buy salt, at the end of the year, buy lime” because salt is said to put the evil spirits away or express the passionate feeling. Buying salt on the 1st morning of new year means that you wish for abundance in a relationship.
Visiting padogas and temples
Visiting padogas and temples at the year beginning is very popular in Vietnam, not only for Buddhists but also for many non-religious people. It is believed that by visiting the temple bowing to the Buddha, listening to sutras, will help the soul to be pure, calm down, and temporarily let go of sorrow.
Picking buds on a spring day is a tradition of the Vietnamese people in Tet holiday. It means that people will break some young tree branches and bring home. In many regions, people also choose tea leaves to pick buds. People believe that bringing the bud home also means “taking the fortune home”. So next year everyone will be lucky and fulfilled.
Wishing is something you must do in Tet holiday in Vietnam. Sending best wishes to your loved ones in many ways is an invaluable gift on this occassion.
Things not to do
Do not borrow or pay debt
Vietnamese people believe that borrowing or paying money from others in Tet holiday is unlucky. Therefore, people avoid to borrow so that the whole year will not fall into a state of poverty, debt, and unfavorable business for the whole year.
Do not sweep the house, take out the trash on the 1st day of lunar new year
At home we often to avoid to sweep the house and take out the trash because that means it will sweep all fortune out of the house.
Do not give the others fire or water
Fire symbolizes luck and warmth, while water symbolizes fortune. So people don’t want to give fire and water to others because that means you give your luck and fortune away.
Try to not break anything
Break means separate. So avoid breaking dishes, mirrors, kettles because it will cause the separation in the family.
Do not fighting
Tet is a happy time, so everyone tries to be gentle, avoid shouting, swearing, and fighting so that the whole year will not have bad luck.
People in mourning should not visit others house
The person who visit your house at the beginning of the year is said to decide the family’s fortune and luck for the whole year. Who in mourning therefore will avoid to visit other people’s homes.