Vietnamese New Year guide
General

Vietnamese New Year 101 | A Guide To Tet Nguyen Dan

Welcome to the colorful and heartfelt celebration of Vietnamese New Year, known as Tet Nguyen Dan. This annual festival, deeply rooted in tradition, signifies the start of a new lunar year in Vietnam. In this article, we’ll explore the customs, culinary traditions, and the heartfelt significance of Tet, offering you a deeper understanding of this cherished holiday.

Tet is a time for Vietnamese families to come together, express gratitude, and seek blessings for the year ahead. Through this article, we aim to provide valuable insights into the customs, rituals, and delicious dishes that make Tet a special and heartwarming celebration. Join us in discovering the Down to Earth and helpful aspects of Vietnamese New Year.

Vietnam Lunar New Year Festival

What Is Vietnamese Tet?

Vietnamese Tet (Tết Nguyên Đán), also known as the Lunar New Year, is the most important holiday in Vietnam. It is a time for families to reunite, honor their ancestors, and pray for good luck and prosperity in the new year. Tet is celebrated on the first day of the Lunar New Year, which typically falls in late January or early February.

Tet is a week-long holiday, but celebrations can last for up to two weeks. The first day of Tet is the most important day and is marked by family gatherings, feasting, and temple visits.

Tết Nguyên Đán là gì? Nguồn gốc và ý nghĩa của ngày Tết Nguyên Đán? Mùng 1  Tết rơi vào ngày mấy?

Traditions And Celebrations

In the weeks leading up to Tet, people clean their homes and businesses and prepare traditional foods and drinks. On New Year’s Eve, families gather together for a large feast, called cỗ Tết. This feast typically includes traditional Vietnamese dishes such as sticky rice cake, spring rolls, and bánh chưng (a square glutinous sticky rice cake filled with pork, green beans, and mung beans).

After the feast, families visit their ancestors’ graves to pay their respects and wish them a happy new year. They also visit temples to pray for good luck in the new year.

On New Year’s Day, people wake up early to exchange gifts and greetings with their loved ones. They also visit neighbors and friends to wish them a happy new year and play traditional games.

Mâm cỗ ngày Tết miền Bắc đủ món thơm ngon, đẹp mắt năm Quý Mão 2023

Different Ways Of Celebrating Tet

Tet is celebrated in different ways in different parts of Vietnam. In the north, Tet is a more traditional holiday, with a focus on honoring ancestors and celebrating the new year. In the south, Tet is a more festive holiday, with a focus on family members and feasting.

Tết sum vầy cùng gia đình - Niềm hạnh phúc lớn nhất trong năm

When Is Vietnam Tet In 2024?

Vietnamese Tet in 2024 will be on Saturday, February 10, which is the first day in the Vietnamese lunar calendar. It will be the Year of the Dragon, the fifth animal in the 12-year Vietnamese zodiac cycle.

The Dragon is a powerful and auspicious animal in Vietnamese culture. It is associated with strength, courage, and leadership. People who are born in the Year of the Dragon are said to be confident, ambitious, and successful.

Tet is a week-long holiday in Vietnam, but celebrations can last for up to two weeks. The first day of Tet in the Vietnamese lunar calendar is the most important day and is marked by family gatherings, feasting, and temple visits.

Còn bao nhiêu ngày nữa đến Tết năm 2024 Dương lịch & Âm lịch

Where To Celebrate Tet In Vietnam?

Tet is celebrated all over Vietnam, but there are a few places where the festivities are particularly vibrant and colorful.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and a popular tourist destination. Tet is celebrated with great fanfare, colorful flower markets, street fairs, and temple Tet festival.

Some of the best places to celebrate Tet in Ho Chi Minh City include:

  • Nguyen Hue Flower Street: This street is transformed into a sea of flowers during Tet, with vendors selling all kinds of flowers and plants. It’s a great place to soak up the Tet atmosphere and take some photos.
  • Vinh Nghiem Pagoda: This pagoda is one of the most popular Buddhist temples in Ho Chi Minh City, and it’s a great place to experience Tet traditions such as praying for good luck and visiting the ancestors’ graves.
Địa điểm du lịch dịp Tết thu hút du khách tại TP Hồ Chí Minh

Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is another popular destination for Tet celebrations. The city is known for its well-preserved Old Quarter, which is especially atmospheric during Tet.

Some of the best places to celebrate Tet in Hanoi include:

  • Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature): This temple is dedicated to Confucius, and it’s a popular spot for students to come and pray for good luck in their exams.
  • Bat Trang Ceramic Village: This village is located just outside of Hanoi, and it’s a great place to buy traditional Vietnamese ceramics.

Hoi An

Hoi An is a charming ancient town in central Vietnam. It’s known for its well-preserved Old Town, its colorful lanterns, and its delicious food.

Some of the best places to celebrate Tet in Hoi An include:

  • Japanese Covered Bridge: This iconic bridge is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hoi An, and it’s especially beautiful at night when it’s lit up with Vietnamese traditional lanterns.
  • Phung Hung Ancient House: This traditional Vietnamese house is a great place to learn about culture and Tet traditions.
Du lịch Tết Hội An 2023: 10 trải nghiệm không thể bỏ lỡ

Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta is a vast network of rivers and canals in southern Vietnam. It’s known for its floating markets, its fruit orchards, and its laid-back atmosphere.

Some of the best places to celebrate Tet in the Mekong Delta include:

  • Cai Rang Floating Market: This floating market is one of the largest and most popular in Vietnam. It’s a great place to experience the local culture and to try some delicious Vietnamese food.
  • Tra Vinh Province: This province is home to a large Khmer minority, and it’s a great place to experience Khmer culture and Tet traditions.
Tet flavor in the Mekong Delta | Vietnam Times

Top Things To Do During Vietnamese New Year

Here are some of the most popular things to do during Tet:

Cleaning and shopping before Tet: In the weeks leading up to Tet, family members clean their homes and businesses and prepare special foods and drinks. They also go shopping for new clothes, gifts, and decorations.

Give lucky money: On New Year’s Day, adults give children and unmarried adults lucky money (lì xì) in red envelopes. This is a symbol of good luck and prosperity in the new year.

Visit temples and pagodas: Vietnamese families visit temples and pagodas on New Year’s Day to pray for good luck and prosperity in the new year.

Attend traditional performances: Traditional music and dance performances are held in many places during Tet.

Visit family and friends: Tet is a time for families and friends to reunite. People visit each other’s homes to exchange greetings, eat together, and play games.

Dạy bé hiểu về nguồn gốc và ý nghĩa ngày Tết Nguyên đán

How To Say Happy New Year In Vietnamese?

The most common way to say Happy New Year in Vietnamese is “Chúc mừng năm mới”. It literally means “wish for a new year.” You can also say “Cung hỉ phát tài”, which means “congratulations and be prosperous.”

You can also add a personal touch to your greeting by including the recipient’s name. For example, you could say “Chúc mừng năm mới, anh/chị [name]” to wish a happy new year to an older person, or “Chúc mừng năm mới, em [name]” to wish a happy new year to a younger person.

Thiệp chúc mừng năm mới đẹp và ý nghĩa tết Quý Mão 2023

Travel Tips During Vietnamese New Year

If you are planning to visit Vietnam during Tet, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are some travel tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable trip:

Accommodation

Tet is a popular time to travel in Vietnam, so it’s important to book your accommodation well in advance. Prices for hotels and guesthouses are typically higher during Tet, so it’s a good idea to budget accordingly.

If you’re having trouble finding accommodation in popular tourist destinations, consider staying in a smaller town or village. You’ll likely find better deals and get to experience a more authentic Tet festival celebration.

A Guide to Hotels and Accommodation in Vietnam 2023

Transportation

Transportation can be difficult during Tet, as many people are traveling home to spend Tet festival with their families. It’s important to book your tickets for buses, trains, and flights in advance.

If you’re renting a motorbike or car, be prepared for heavy traffic and delays. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case your transportation is canceled.

Youngsters flock to check-in on Tet holiday street in HCMC | Vietnam Times

Safety

Tet is generally a safe time to travel in Vietnam, but it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against petty theft. Be especially careful in crowded areas and at night.

It’s also a good idea to avoid traveling in remote areas during Tet, as some businesses and services may be closed.

Flower street Home Hanoi Xuan is a safe destination for Tet Holiday

Participating In Tet Customs

Tourists are welcome to participate in Tet celebrations, but it’s important to do so respectfully. Here are a few tips:

  • Dress appropriately. Vietnamese people typically wear red or gold clothing during Tet, as these colors are considered auspicious. It’s best to avoid wearing black or white, as these colors are associated with mourning.
  • Be respectful of religious and cultural traditions. Many Vietnamese people visit temples and pagodas during Tet to pray for good luck in the new year. If you visit a temple, be sure to dress respectfully and remove your shoes before entering.

Here are some specific ways that tourists can participate in Tet customs:

  • Give lucky money. On New Year’s Day, adults give children and unmarried adults lucky money (lì xì) in red envelopes. This is a symbol of good luck and prosperity in the new year. If you’re given lucky money, be sure to say thank you and wish the person a happy new year.
  • Visit a temple or pagoda. Visiting a temple or pagoda during Tet is a great way to experience the culture and traditions in Vietnam. Be sure to dress respectfully and remove your shoes before entering.
  • Watch a traditional performance. Traditional music and dance performances are held in many places during Tet. Attending a performance is a great way to learn about the spring festival and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Traditional customs re-launched in Hanoi ahead of Tet | VOV.VN

Some Taboos At Tet Festival

It’s inadvisable to clean your room or cut your nails, and don’t break anything on and after several days of Tet Day.

There are a few taboos that Vietnamese people avoid during Tet, including:

  • Cleaning the house: Cleaning the house on Tet Day is believed to sweep away good luck and prosperity in the Vietnamese New Year.
  • Cutting nails or hair: Cutting nails or hair on Tet Day is believed to cut short your lifespan or bring bad luck.
  • Breaking things: Breaking things on Tet Day is believed to bring bad luck to the family.
  • Saying unlucky words: Vietnamese people avoid saying unlucky words during Tet, such as death, disease, or poverty.
  • Lending or borrowing money: Lending or borrowing money on Tet Day is believed to bring financial hardship in the Vietnamese New Year.
Vietnamese New Year (Tet) - The most important holiday of Vietnamese  culture - Da Nang Leisure

Try Not to Bargain

Local people believe bargaining during the important festival would bring about bad luck for the whole coming year.

It is generally considered taboo to bargain during Tet in Vietnam. This is because bargaining is seen as a sign of greed and materialism, which are not considered auspicious during the holiday season.

There are a few reasons why Vietnamese people believe that bargaining during Tet brings bad luck. First, it is believed that bargaining can upset the balance of the universe and lead to misfortune in the new year. Second, it is seen as disrespectful to the sellers, who are working hard to make a living during the holiday season. Third, it is believed that bargaining can jinx the buyer, leading to financial hardship in the new year.

If you are visiting Vietnam during Tet, it is best to avoid bargaining altogether. If you are unsure of the price of something, simply ask the seller. They will be happy to tell you the price.

Carry Enough Cash

Banks will be closed for the holiday, so prepare as much cash as possible ahead of time.

it is important to carry enough cash during Tet in Vietnam, as banks and many businesses will be closed for the holiday. ATMs may also be out of cash during this time.

It is a good idea to budget for your expenses in advance and to exchange your currency for Vietnamese dong before you travel. You can exchange your currency at banks, currency exchange bureaus, and even some hotels.

Can Vietnam turn 90% of its transactions into cashless payments? | KrASIA

Traffic Conditions

There will be heavy traffic in most cities during New Year’s Eve. Flights, buses, and trains will be very busy, so make sure to book the tickets weeks ahead. Many places will be filled with crowds. It’s a good idea to stay in one place until the crowd gradually goes away.

Traffic conditions can be very difficult during Tet in Vietnam. This is because many people are traveling home to spend the Tet Nguyen Dan with their families. Flights, buses, and trains are typically very busy during this time, so it is important to book your tickets well in advance.

Vietnam's Da Lat City overcrowded with vehicles of Tet goers | Tuoi Tre News

Hotel Reservations

Hotel reservations will fill up fast before Tet, so booking a hotel early is essential for better accommodations at a reasonable price.

It is essential to book a hotel early before Tet in Vietnam, as hotel reservations fill up fast. Tet is the most popular holiday in Vietnam, and many people travel home to spend New Year’s Eve with their families. This means that there is a high demand for hotel rooms during Tet.

Agoda, Hà Nội - Booking.com

Is Tet A Good Time To Visit Vietnam?

Tet is the most important festival in traditional Vietnamese culture. It is a time for families and friends to reunite, celebrate the Vietnamese New Year, and pray for good luck and prosperity. Tet is also a time to reflect on the past year and to look forward to the future with hope.

If you are visiting Vietnam during Tet Nguyen Dan, you can immerse yourself in the unique experience of this holiday. There are many ways to do this, such as: visiting temples and pagodas to pray for good luck, attending traditional Tet performances, enjoying traditional Tet food, giving and receiving lucky money (lì xì), visiting friends and family to wish them happy new year.

Tet Nguyen Dan is a truly special time of year in Vietnam, and it is an experience that you will never forget. Be open to new experiences. Tet is a time for celebration and for trying new things. Don’t be afraid to try new foods, visit new places, and meet new people.

Ready For Vietnamese New Year Festival?

In wrapping up our journey through Vietnamese New Year, or Tet, let’s remember that it’s more than just traditions and celebrations. It’s a time for family, reflection, and hope. It’s about coming together, sharing love, and savoring delicious food.

Whether you’re in Vietnam or far away, the spirit of Tet is universal – it’s about renewal and optimism. So, let’s all cherish our connections, embrace new beginnings, and look forward to a bright year ahead. Wishing you a joyous and prosperous Vietnamese New Year, filled with love and good fortune. Chuc Mung Nam Moi! (Happy New Year!)

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