Têt is the biggest and the most significant holiday in the Vietnamese culture. The Têt Nguyen Dan means “the first morning of the first day of the new period,” and people spend the holiday with their families and the closest ones. The dates for the celebration vary from year to year depending on the lunar calendar. In 2020, the Vietnamese begin celebrating the holiday on January 25th.
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The Vietnamese consider the holiday as a joyful event and spend it with grace and pleasure. The family prepares the house by cleaning, settling old debts, or buying new clothes (Le). The last day of the year is called New Year Eva, and families prepare certain dishes to worship ancestors, such as stuffed bitter melon soup and sticky rice cake.
The Têt celebration lasts seven days, each of which the family spends together. The first day of the lunar month is considered a time for the family to wear bright new clothes and receive a lucky penny from an elder. Ba Pagoda is a festival that is celebrated in Thu Dau Mot City, Binh Duong Province, where families have an opportunity to pray for health, happiness, and peace for themselves and their loved ones. The second day can be timed to visit a friend’s house to wish a happy New Year. For the next days of the holiday, I chose to spend time at my grandparent’s in my father’s homeland in Cao Tho. On the sixth and seventh days, the holiday is considered to be over, and everyone returns to work.
Therefore, Têt is a significant event that allows spending time with a family and enhancing old traditions. It is an integral part of every year, and time spent celebrating is highly appreciated by each member of the family. This holiday allows for people to reunite with their roots and pay tribute to their ancestors, which makes it meaningful and enriching.
Le, C. N. “Têt: A Celebration of Rebirth.” Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America, 2020, Web.