Lunar New Year or Tet holiday is the biggest holiday in Vietnam. This is a special occasion to come back to the hometown, close to the family after all year round. For Vietnamese people, this holiday will play an important role in the success and happiness in the next year.
Besides, there is a lot of unique Vietnamese cultures on this holiday. Let’s follow the article to know more about traditional cultural identities on this occasion!
The Vietnamese cultures of visiting the ancestors’ graves
In Vietnam, the Tet holiday is considered as an occasion for all members close together including the spirits of the deceased. Normally, From 23rd to 30th of November by the lunar calendar, Vietnamese people will visit their ancestors’ graves.
A visit to a grave starts by cleaning the graves. In Vietnam cultures, the graves are not individual but familial and several ancestors rest at the same place. After cleaning the grave, people offer foods and fruits that the deceased enjoyed when they were alive. Flowers are also always placed at the grave. Chrysanthemum flowers are typically placed, but any flower can also be replaced.
When they visit their graves, people pray for the rest of the souls of the deceased. They also talk to their ancestors, express their gratitude, report them about the latest news of the family. People also hope the spirit of the deceased will support them in a new year for more success and happiness in their family.
Decorating the house for Tet holiday
In Lunar New Year, every family, individual will redecorate their house to be more colorful and bright in a new year. All the furniture such as a sofa, a chair, a fridge and so on will be cleaned and redecorated. Cleaning house is very important on the Tet holiday to prepare a see-off the old year and welcome the new year.
Decorating a house on the Tet holiday will depend on the finance of each family. But usually, on the wall, many families will hang Tet couplets or Tet paintings. Vietnamese people will place flower pots with colorful breaths of spring. Besides, the five fruits tray is also prepared to show the wealthy and lucky in a new year by Vietnamese cultures.
Preparing Chung Cake
Chung cake is an indispensable dish on the Tet holiday of Vietnamese traditional food. Despite the development of the food industry, Vietnamese people still prepare Chung cake on Tet holiday as one of the unique Vietnamese cultures.
On the Tet holiday, every single family is so busy to prepare many ingredients to make Chung cake. With the banana leaves, green bean, pork, sticky rice, Chung cake becomes a traditional dish of Vietnam on this holiday.
Tet traditions honour kitchen gods
In Vietnamese cultures, the Tet holiday has begun with the “Ong Cong – Ong Tao” ceremony on the 23rd of the last month of the lunar year. On this day, every family is busy staging a farewell ceremony for the Land Genie and the Kitchen Gods on their yearly visit of Heaven.
The Kitchen Gods are the guardian spirit of the kitchen by Vietnamese tradition. They are believed to comprise two male gods and one female. These gods bless the household and keep up the kitchen fire, making every member of the family happy and well-off.
On that day, people also burn paper clothing, including hats, robes, and boots, intended for use by the genies on the trip beyond.
For those families who have many children living far from home, Tet is an occasion to close together and have a meal. This is one of the unique Vietnamese cultures on the Tet holiday. A year-end meal is held on the last day of the lunar year. All family members will prepare and cook a lot of yummy dishes together.
This is also a meal for family members to show their respect to the deceased in the family. When a year-end meal is over, it is time for everyone to prepare for New Year’s Eve. The meaning of this ceremony is to dispel the bad and bad things of the old year, to welcome new and good things of the new year.
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is the time of transition between the old year and the new year on the last day of the lunar year. It is considered an important time of the year. In the moment of sacred and joyful, Vietnamese people everywhere do not forget the activities to welcome the moment.
In Vietnam, fireworks as an individual have been banned since 1995. Instead, the State will organize fireworks in the central areas to welcome this moment.
Greeting and Lucky money
On the first day of the year, Vietnamese people always give all the best wishes to others. The greetings in a new year will bring many lucky, success and happiness for the host throughout the year. That is the cultural beauty of Vietnamese people for ages and really makes sense of the spiritual value in the first days of the new year.
On this day, children will say good and health wishes to grandparents, parents, teachers, and elders. Adults will bless them and accompany them with lucky money for their health and luck and joy.
Xong Dat custom on Tet holiday
According to the traditional conception of Vietnamese, “Xong dat” is an action that means the first guest comes to a house on the first day of the new year. The custom of “Xong dat” at the beginning of the year is a long-standing tradition of the Vietnamese people.
The hour of “Xong dat” is calculated starting from New Year’s Eve onwards. People who are invited to “Xong dat” for homeowners often visit their families on the morning of the first day of the new year. They will bring small gifts for families such as jam cake, tea, medicine and lucky money for children.
Asking for letters on Tet holiday
For a long time, the tradition of asking and giving letters at the beginning of the year has become an indispensable traditional cultural beauty in the early spring days. The soft, flexible handwriting contains dreams of good luck, luck, and peace.
On these days of a new year, Vietnamese people often go to pagodas. By donating money and asking for letters, they will receive several lucks and fortune.
Lunar New Year is the priceless value of Vietnam and an indispensable part of the life of all Vietnamese people. If you are interested in Vietnamese cultures, this is a great occasion to experience all of the traditional cultural identities of Vietnam.