Tet holiday is an exciting holiday that I don’t get to experience outside of Vietnam. It was my first glimpse at seeing a truly traditional holiday. For the first time since I lived in Vietnam the streets were a little quieter and the sounds of singing filled the air. A lot of shops seemed to undergo renovations and people seemed busy cleaning their house to prepare for hosting their relatives, neighbours and friends. Officially Tet holiday to my understanding goes for 3 days but it’s seemed as though it went for about 2 weeks. At this time you can see the importance of family and the strong unity that binds them.
Another interesting thing that I didn’t known before was the fact that all debts had to be paid off as much as possible. I assume the meaning of this is to welcome the New Year with a clean slate. This custom makes sense to me but I’ve never thought of starting off the New Year that way before.
They symbols that represent the New Year also caught my eye, such as kumquat trees, red envelopes and gift baskets. I particularly like the custom of giving lucky money to the youngsters. Everyone gets involved and has a great time together.
The foods and drinks are also particularly interesting and unique. I felt very welcomed with one of the families in my alleyway. Despite not being able to speak to them very well I was welcomed into their home to eat lots of different types of food that I had never tried. Some dishes were quite familiar tasting while others were very foreign for me.
I’m sure this year’s Tet holiday will be just as good. Chuc Mung Nam moi!