Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture
Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

Tet holiday is a traditional holiday for Vietnamese people. This is also an occasion for family to gather, reunite together after a hard working year. For Vietnamese locals, Tet is the biggest holiday of the year and it is kept years by years.

What is the Vietnamese New Year?

Vietnamese New Year, also known as Tet holiday or Tet Nguyen Dan, is considered the most important and biggest festivals in Vietnam. 

After a year, all the Vietnamese are very excited about the coming of Tet. The word “Tet” is originally Sino –Vietnamese which means “Feast of the first morning of the first day”. 

When does Tet holiday happen? The same with Chinese New Year, Vietnamese people celebrate the arrival of the spring based on the lunar calendar (Chinese Lunar Calendar), so it is not difficult to find that the New Year’s dates are fluctuant in the solar calendar. The Vietnamese New Year takes place on the first day of the first lunar month which has the date falling in January or February. For 2020, the New Year will come on January 25th.

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

At Tet, streets are covered with colorful days, Nguyen Hue walking street is full of flowers and visitors because of yearly flower event. Every house is generally decorated by Yellow Apricot blossoms (hoa mai) in the South, peach blossoms (hoa đào) in the North. Moreover, people in southern part of Vietnam also use bonsai and flowers such as chrysanthemums (hoa cúc), marigolds (vạn thọ) symbolizing longevity, meanwhile those in northern part use cockscombs (mào gà), paperwhites (thủy tiên) and pansies (hoa lan). These popular decorations have many good different meaning that family hopes in the coming year.

Special procedures in Vietnamese Tet Holiday 

Experiencing many fluctuations of history, the traditional customs of Vietnamese people still retain the national identity.

Making Vietnamese Square Sticky Rice Cake (Banh Chung)

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

“Banh Chung” (Chung cake) is a traditional and irreplaceable cake of Vietnamese people in the Tet, this is the ideal way to express gratitude to their ancestors and homeland.

In contrast to the fast food in modern life, the process of making Chung cake is time-consuming and requires the contribution of several people. Main ingredients are glutinous rice, pork meat, and green beans wrapped in a square of bamboo leaves that will give the rice a green color after boiling.

However, in the South of Vietnam, people don’t eat Banh Chung, they make Banh Tet which has the same making way with Banh Chung but the appearance is different.

Visiting Pagodas

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

Several days before Tet, most people busy themselves with house decoration. At the sacred moment of New Year’s Eve, after worshipping the ancestors, many families choose to visit a pagoda to pray for their new year.

Nonetheless, New Year’s Eve is not the most significant moment to visit a pagoda! As traditional, the first day of Tet is usually the busiest day. Families reunite and pay their special pagoda a visit. If you happen to be in Hanoi on this day, there are thousands of people going to Tran Quoc Pagoda, Ngoc Son Temple, or the Temple of Literature. In case you are in Saigon, the pagodas are not too crowded, as most people have traveled back to their hometown.

Visiting family and friends

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

On Tet holiday, families lay out a splendid feast to welcome visiting relatives and friends. The first few days of Tet are meant to be spent visiting friends and relatives. The first day is spent calling upon close friends and one’s parents. The next day, Vietnamese call on their in-laws and other friends. And on the third day, people call upon their distant relations.

When visiting others’ house, family members and friends also exchange gifts during the visit. 

Give-and-Take Lucky Money

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

As well as Asian countries, particularly China, Vietnamese believes that the red and yellow color will bring good fortune.

On many New Year’s days, the elders will give red envelopes containing lucky money to wish for health, success and happy for them. To exchange, the youngers in their new clothes will say many best traditional Vietnamese greetings to the elders, they usually wish for long-last living and health. This traditional custom is called “Mung tuoi” in the north and “Li xi” in the south of Vietnam. 

Buying salt at the beginning of the year

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

The custom of buying salt was reminded by the old saying in the proverb: “At the beginning of the year to buy salt, at the end of the year to buy lime”. The ancients thought that, salt is salty, anti-defiling, and can ward off evil spirits and bring good luck in the family.

The custom of buying salt at the beginning of the year also means praying for the affection in the family affection, harmony, sticking the glue between husband and wife and children. Moreover, this is also the salinity, close friendship all year round in the conduct and business relationship. People often buy salt on the first day morning of New Year. However, when buying, you should pay attention to buy a full bowl with a top and pay correspondingly one or two pounds to wish for good luck.

Taboos should not be done on Tet holiday

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

New year is a time for good things and good lucks. Here are 10 things to avoid doing during the Tet holiday that Vietnamese ancestors from past experience had listed:

Abstaining from crying and sadness, saying unhappy things

People perceive that on New Year’s Day, if anyone is crying, sad, saying unhappy things, the whole year will be covered with sadness and unluckiness. Therefore, on Tet days, we should try to control sad emotions, avoid saying bad things to enjoy the happy and full New.

Not to sweep the floor and collect garbage for 3 days of Tet holiday

Ancient people thought that if sweeping the house in the first 3 days of the year, the whole year will be poor, impoverished. It is also possible to sweep clean but not scavenging away to leave trash in a corner. So before New Year’s Eve, no matter how busy people are, everyone tries to clean their homes and gardens. Particularly in the South of Vietnam, after cleaning floor, all brooms should be stored because locals think that if brooms are lost in Tet, the whole year will be full of bad luck such as losing all assets.

Giving water and fire

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

Fire is red and luck, water is like a source of fortune and utilities of the family. If there has people asking for fire at the beginning of the year, the family will lose their fortune, may face many disasters.

Do not break furniture

People often perceived that the collapse, broken furniture is a sign of separation and unfortunate omen for the whole year. Therefore, you should be extremely careful when using fragile objects, especially mirrors, bowls, glasses.

Do not wear black – white clothes

Vietnamese people believe that black – white symbolizes mourning and separation, so on Tet holiday, they often avoid wearing black or white clothes. Instead, people often wear colorful, fresh clothes to wish for a lucky and happy New Year.

Where to visit in Vietnam on Tet holiday?

Da Lat in February – best time to visit Vietnam

Visitors always call February is “Cherry blossom blooming season”. Flowers bloom on the street, along the town and underneath roof of houses.The beginning of February is when the cherry blossom burst powerfully. Cherry blossom in Da Lat is founded in the way to Golden Spring, Tran Trai and Tran Hung Dao Street – where famous for ancient villas, Xuan Huong Lake or the valleys behind the city.

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

The climate in Da Lat at this time is cool, suitable for leisure activities and sightseeing. When visiting city’s flower gardern in February, you will see the variety of flowers such as cherry blossom, purple mimosa, yellow mimosa, bouquet, butterfly wings,…

Mekong Delta

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

“Nowhere in the South that Tet is as fun as in the Mekong Delta”, that’s a common feedback of visitors. This land is famous for numerous fruit garden and simple, gentle, hospitable people. You can experience daily life here by living in homestay or house of the local, taking a tour on boat to floating markets to watch the busiest river life, enjoy specialties and fruits of this land.

Moc Chau, Son La

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

It’s can be said that, February is a suitable time to visit Moc Chau. You will admire the brilliant white of the beautiful plum blossom garden and poetic natural charm. At this time, when coming to Moc Chau Plateau, you seem like losing into the land of fairy tales with the pretty of plum blossom and peaceful nature.

Unfortunately, plum blossoms are quickly withered, only lasts 2-3 weeks. Therefore, hurry up to take a trip at early February to see a picturesque of white plum blossoms covered the hills.

Ninh Binh – spiritual destination to visit on Tet holiday

If you are wondering where to go in February, quickly booking a tour to Ninh Binh Province. This ideal destination has many nice sightseeing such as Bai Dinh Pagoda with a gilded tall statue of Buddha, Trang An with the mountain scenery and rivers flowing…

Tet holiday – The quintessence of Vietnamese culture

In fact, Ninh Binh is not only a spiritual destination but also a cultural place. You will have a chance to relax and enjoy one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. Phat Diem Cathedral Church is also an attractive journey’s end for Christian with admirable unique stone work here.

Dear our customers,

Vietnam Lunar New Year (Tet Holiday) is coming, kindly bear in mind to arrange to get your Vietnam visa or extend your visa to avoid using Urgent service.

If you have a plan to travel to Vietnam this month or the next 1 month, this is the best time to start your visa process.

If your visa is going to expired within 1 month or next month, please to arrange a visa extension, otherwise you can have a trouble due to Tet Holiday.
Vietnam Immigration Department is closed during Tet Holiday, as a result, visa requests are not processed during the period except for a rush visa (feel free to contact us at Hotline: +84 968 18 77 18 if you’re in emergency)
Please keep in mind that we also provides:
▶️ Get visa approval letter within: 1 hour, 2hours, 1 day, 2 days
▶️ Visa letter during Holiday: within 24 hours


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