Tet Holiday known as Lunar New Year is one of the most exciting holidays in Vietnam. This is a symbol of new beginnings in the Vietnamese people’s minds. In this article, we will introduce you to the customs, traditions and many interesting things you can do during the Tet Holiday!
What Is Vietnamese Tet Holiday (Vietnamese Lunar New Year)?
Tet Holiday is always the most wonderful festival in Vietnam yearly. This festival usually falls between late January and mid-February of calendar month. In Vietnamese people’s minds, the Tet Holiday is not only meant for a new beginning of the year but also a new journey for them. Additionally, the Tet Holiday is a time for family reunions, paying respects to ancestors and wishing for a prosperous new year. So, the Tet Holiday has always played an important role in tradition and culture in Vietnam for many centuries.
What Is The Animal Sign Of Vietnamese Tet Holiday 2024?
The animal sign for the Tet Holiday in 2024 is the Dragon. According to the Vietnamese people’s minds, each year is associated with a specific animal. The Dragon is one of the most revered and lucky signs in the Vietnam zodiac. Dragons are symbols of strength, prosperity and good fortune in Vietnamese culture. So, Vietnamese people believe that 2024 is a wonderful time for new beginnings and successes.
When Is Tet Holiday 2024 And How Long Does It Last?
In 2024, Vietnamese Tet Holiday is set to commence on Feb 10 in alignment with the calendar day. This significant festival is usually for three days. However, Vietnam people usually prepare for the Tet Holiday several weeks before the official start date. Because they want to ensure that everything is perfect for this special time.
The pre-Tet period is the most vibrant activity of this holiday. During this time, Vietnamese people cleaned their homes, purchased decorations and prepared traditional Tet dishes such as Banh Chung, Hat Dua,… Additionally, this time is also when many Vietnamese families return to their hometowns to reunite with loved ones. So, it’s a time of joy and togetherness, and start to the beginning of the new year is coming.
Tet Holiday Customs
Vietnamese Tet Holiday is marked by a plethora of customs and traditions. Each is deeply rooted in cultural significance in Vietnamese people. So, let’s learn more about the key customs of this festival:
Lucky money (Li Xi)
The custom of giving and receiving lucky money (Li Xi) is one of the most anticipated aspects of Tet for children. The children will say: “Wish you a prosperous year “. Then, elders present red envelopes containing money to their children. This symbolizes good fortune, prosperity and well-wishing for their children and anyone who receives lucky money. So, lucky money during Tet Holiday is one of the favorite thing of Vietnamese people.
First foot (Xong Dat)
The “first-foot” tradition involves selecting a person with positive energy and luck to enter the household first on the morning of Tet. This person who “first foot” in your house is believed to influence the family’s luck all year. In Vietnamese people’s minds, this will bring the good beginning of their house. So, the person who “first-foot” plays an important role in Tet Holiday.
Clean and decorate the house
Vietnamese people usually prepare for the Tet Holiday weeks in advance. They will clean the house, windows and buy many things for this holiday. Additionally, they will also go to the flower market to buy peach blossoms or kumquat trees to decorate their house. Vietnamese people usually hang up lanterns or colored lights outside to make their houses more gorgeous and colorful. So, when you come to Vietnam during this time, you will be surprised by the colorful houses and streets.
Visit relatives, neighborhoods and friends
The Tet Holiday is also a wonderful time for Vietnamese people to visit their relatives and neighbors. This activity is a tradition among Vietnamese people when the Tet comes. So, when the Tet comes, they will go to a neighbor’s or relative’s house. During this time, they will be talking and eating Tet foods together. In Vietnamese people’s minds, this tradition of Tet Holiday can coherence everyone together.
Visit ancestors graves
One of the important activities during the Tet Holiday of Vietnamese people is visiting the graves of ancestors. Vietnamese people will go to cemeteries to pay their respects and honor their forebears. This traditional activities is a means that Vietnamese people always have gratitude and reverence for their forebears. During this time, they will clean and incense for forebears tombs. When they incense on tombs, they will pray for lucky and blessings for the new year from their forebears. So, don’t be surprised when you see many people in the cemetery during this time in Vietnam.
Worship the ancestors
Ancestor worship also plays an important role in the Tet Holiday. Vietnamese families set up ancestral altars in their homes, adorned with offerings of food and incense. When they burn the incense, they will pray for the luck and health of their family. Vietnam people believe this tradition ensures that the spirits of ancestors watch over and protect their family. So, this traditional activity is very necessary during the Vietnamese Tet Holiday.
Exodus (Xuat Hanh)
Tet Holiday is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. So, there will have a significant portion of the Vietnamese population will return to their hometowns during the Tet Holiday. This is marking one of the most substantial annual migrations in this country. This return to one’s roots is known as “Xuat Hanh” and is an integral part of the Tet Holiday experience. This custom signifies the importance of family reunions.
Going to the flower market on Tet holiday
During the day leading up to the Tet Holiday, there will be many flower markets selling many kinds of flowers and trees. Vietnamese people will go to buy flowers to decorate their houses during this time. They usually buy peach blossoms, kumquat trees, and other flowers that are particularly popular. Because Vietnamese people believe these trees will bring new beginnings, good fortune and prosperity to their house. So, don’t surprised when you see many colorful flower markets along the way. These markets will make you fall in love at first sight.
Going to the temple at the beginning of the year and picking buds
Vietnamese people usually visit temples and pagodas on the first day of the lunar year. This traditional practice will include incense and prayers, seeking blessings in the new year ahead. Additionally, An interesting tradition is the act of picking buds. Vietnamese people believe that the first blossoms of the year bring good luck and happiness for themselves and family. So, when you come to Vietnam this time, you can experience this interesting activity in temple.
Tet Holiday Celebrations
Tet Holiday is a multi-day celebration with several key events:
Kitchen God Day
Kitchen God Day is celebrated on the 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month. This is a unique and important event during the Tet Holiday. Vietnamese families believe that each home is guarded by the Kitchen God, who observes the actions of the household throughout the year. So, Vietnamese people will offer food and incense to the Kitchen God to ensure a favorable report to the Jade Emperor on that day. The Jade Emperor is the highest deity in Vietnamese folklore. During this time, Vietnamese families often prepare a special feast. Then, they will see off the Kitchen God in a ritual that involves burning a paper effigy, and sending the god to heaven to deliver his report for the Jade Emperor.
Tat Nien means “penultimate night” and this is a significant prelude to the main Tet celebrations. On this evening, families come together for a meal and wait for the new year. It’s a wonderful time for family members to sit, share stories and enjoy traditional food together.
Giao Thua is the moment when the old year ends and the new year begins during the Tet Holiday. As the clock strikes midnight, fireworks and firecrackers light up the night sky and traditional music and dance performances add to the festive atmosphere. During this time, Vietnamese families will gather to welcome the new year with joy and expectations. So, this moment is one the important moments in Vietnamese people’s minds.
Tan Nien is the first day of the Tet Holiday. During this time, adults in the family will insence and pay their respects to their ancestors. It’s a time of reflection, gratitude, and well-wishing for the year ahead. Children will wear their finest to go to visit their grand or neighbor on that day. They will talk about New Year’s wishes then adults in the family will give to them lucky money in red envelopes.
Traditional Vietnamese Tet Dishes
Cuisine also plays an important role in Tet Holiday. With multiple of traditional dishes, Vietnam cuisine will be a plus point this holiday. Here are some of the signature dishes you can not miss during Tet Holiday:
Square sticky rice cake (Banh Chung) – The must-have food for Tet Holiday
Banh Chung is an iconic Tet dish. This dish is a must-have in Tet Holiday meal and holds a special place in Vietnamese hearts. This dish is a square-shaped glutinous rice cake filled with a mixture of mung beans, pork and other ingredients. This cake is wrapped in dong leaves and boiled for hours. In the time boiled for Banh Chung, Vietnamese families will sit together and talk about their story in this year.
Cylinder sticky rice cake (Banh Tet)
Banh Tet is similar to Banh Chung but comes in a cylindrical shape. This cake is also made from glutinous rice, green beans, and pork. However, the difference from Banh Chung is this cake is wrapped with banana leaves. Banh Tet has been displayed on the altars as an offering to Vietnamese ancestors. So, this is also one of the iconic dish in Tet Holiday.
Roasted watermelon seeds (Hat dua) – an interesting food Tet Holiday
Hat dua is a popular snack during the Tet Holiday. This dish is made from watermelon seeds. Hat dua symbolizes the hope of Vietnamese people for a bountiful harvest in the coming year. They are often served in decorative containers. You can drink traditional tea, talk and enjoy this dish when you come to Vietnamese houses during this time. This will be an interesting experience, right?
Dried candied fruits (Mut) – The featured dish of Tet Holiday
Mut is a jam of candied fruits that varies from region to region in Vietnam. There will be many kinds of jam from fruits like kumquats, ginger, coconut, kiwi, papaya,… for you to taste.
Pickled small leeks (Cu Kieu Muoi)
Cu kieu muoi are small pickled leeks… that add a delightful crunch and tangy flavor. This dish is a must-have in many families in Vietnam during the Tet Holiday. Trust me, this dish will meet your taste right away.
Pickled onion (Dua Hanh)
Dua Hanh is pickled onion, often served as a side dish with other Tet foods. These onions are crunchy, slightly sour and add a tangy contrast to the richness of other dishes. They symbolize the ability to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.
Lean pork pie (Gio Lua)
Gio lua, also known as Vietnamese pork sausage or lean pork pie, is a popular Tet dish. It’s made from ground lean pork and is often sliced thin and served with fresh herbs and rice paper. It symbolizes the hope for good health and prosperity.
Sour meat pie (Nem chua)
Nem chua is a sour fermented pork dish. This is a delicacy you can not miss during Tet Holiday. There will be many kinds of Nem Chua in Vietnam. This dish is made by marinating ground pork with spices resulting in a tangy, flavorful treat in meal.
Beef jerky (Thit Bo Kho)
Thit Bo Kho is dried beef jerky, often enjoyed as a Tet snack. It’s marinated and then dried to preserve its flavor and is a savory complement to the sweet Tet dishes. It symbolizes strength and durability for the coming year.
Boiled chicken (Ga Luoc)
Ga Luoc is boiled chicken, often served as part of the Tet Holiday. This dish is a simple but important dish in many Vietnam feasts. You can try this simple dish with many kinds of sauces. This will make this dish more delicious than ever.
Baby jackfruit flavored sticky rice (Xoi Gac)
Because Xoi Gac is a special sticky rice dish made with the flesh of the gac fruit, this dish will have a wonderful orange and red color. Vietnamese people believe the red color in this dish will bring luck and happiness to their family. So that is why this is the must-have dish in Tet Holiday.
Where To Celebrate Tet Holiday In Vietnam For Travelers
The Tet Holiday is a fascinating time for tourists to visit and explore the traditions and culture of Vietnam. Are you wondering where to go in Vietnam during the Tet Holiday? This article is for you.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. This city is also a dynamic and exciting city for tourists to admire the Lunar New Year in Vietnam. During the Tet Holiday, you will feel the vibrant atmosphere here. The streets are adorned in red and gold decorations making this city more gorgeous at night. Ha Noi offers tourists the chance to explore many traditional markets and enjoy street performances during this holiday. You can go to Hoan Kiem Lake to observe the fireworks and countdown party during this time. Therefore, if you want to admire the vibrant of the Tet Holiday in Vietnam, you can come to this city right away.
Sapa is the beautiful city located in the mountainous region of Northern Vietnam. If you want to have a unique Tet holiday, Sapa can be the best choice for you. The area is known for its diverse ethnic minority groups of Vietnam. So, when you come to Sapa, you can admire and learn more about the unique festival and traditions in this area. The colorful traditional dances, festival and gorgeous costumes of these communities will make you fall in love at first sight. Additionally, the wonderful natural landscapes in Sapa are also a plus point for this place.
Da Lat City
Da Lat is often known as the “City of Thousand Flowers” in Vietnam. The weather in this city is always mild and pleasant all around the year. Additionally, many kinds of flowers will be displayed all along the streets during the Tet Holiday. Therefore, you can admire the beauty of flowers and the vibrant atmosphere when you come to this city at this time. With gorgeous scenery and mild weather, Da Lat is one of the cities you can not miss when you travel to Vietnam.
Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An is always the must-visit attraction whenever you come to Vietnam. This city always attracted many tourists in a row because of its historical architecture and peaceful landscapes. During the Tet Holiday, this city will light up with many kinds of lanterns making this city more gorgeous than ever. You can slowly stroll along the streets and admire the beauty of this ancient town at this time. That is so wonderful, right?
Hue Imperial City
Hue was the ancient imperial capital of Vietnam in the Nguyen Dynasty for many centuries. With its historical attractions and delectable local food, this city always attracts many tourists to come and visit yearly. Moreover, this city will have many festivals and interesting activities for you to explore during the Tet Holiday. So, let come to this city and enjoy the Tet ambiance right away.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is one of the bustling economic hubs of Vietnam. This city is also a vibrant city when the Tet Holiday comes. There will have many festivals and a countdown new year will take place in this city. So, if you want to have a vibrant Tet Holiday, this city is always a wonderful place for you.
Things You Should Do During Vietnamese Tet Holiday
- You should wear colorful color of clothes such as red, orange,… during the Vietnamese Tet Holiday to bring luck for the new year.
- When Tet comes, you should visit the pagoda in the first day to pray the health and luck for yourself and family.
- The day before Vietnam Tet Holiday, you should clean and decorate your house to make your house clean and colorful for a peace and luck year.
- Traditionally, Vietnamese people will buy salt in the new year to pray for luck and health.
Things You Should Not Do During Vietnamese Tet Holiday
- Do not sweep the your house or take out the trash on the first day of the Tet Holiday.
- You should avoid breaking utensils in your house.
- Remember that do not borrow or debt collection during this time.
- At the beginning of the year, you should not cut your hair or nail.
- Last but not least, do not close the gate during the Tet Holiday.
In conclusion, the Tet Holiday 2024 plays an important role for Vietnamese people. During this time, tourists learn more about many interesting activities including traditional festivals, customs and cuisine of local people. So, if you want to experience the Vietnam culture, you can visit this country this time. To rent a car during Tet Holiday, you can choose Vietnam car rental with driver by VM Car.