6 Fascinating Facts about Tet, the Vietnamese New Year

Every year, countries around the world celebrate their own unique new year. The United States celebrates January 1 as the start of its new year but in Vietnam, they celebrate a different holiday entirely. Known as Tết Nguyên Đán or simply Tet, this holiday marks the beginning of spring and is an important time for celebration and reflection in Vietnamese culture. Let’s take a look at 6 facts about Tet that will give you insight into this special occasion!

1. When Does Tet Take Place?

Tet usually falls between late January to mid-February and lasts for several days although some festivities may last longer. This year it falls today, January 22nd. Unlike many other cultures, the Vietnamese calendar follows a lunar system so Tet dates change every year based on cycles of the moon.

2. What Are the Traditions Associated with Tet?

During Tet, many families come together to celebrate with traditional meals and activities such as visiting temples, participating in ancestral ceremonies, giving gifts to each other, playing games, and more. It is also customary to wish each other happiness and health during this time which is why people often exchange well wishes like “Chúc mừng năm mới” (Happy New Year).

3. What Is a Special Dish Prepared During This Time?

Banh Chung & Banh Tet are two popular dishes prepared for celebrations during this time of year which symbolize luck and prosperity for the upcoming months. Both dishes are made from sticky rice that is filled with pork or mung beans then wrapped in banana leaves before being boiled or steamed for several hours. They are traditionally eaten with pickled vegetables as well as banh day—a type of cake made from glutinous rice flour that has been dried in direct sunlight then cut into diamond shapes before being fried until golden brown and served with coconut jam or sesame paste.

4. How Do People Decorate For This Occasion?

Decorations vary depending on region but some common decorations include lanterns, peach blossoms (to bring good luck), kumquat trees (to bring wealth), dragon dance costumes (as dragons represent power), banners written with Chinese characters wishing health & happiness, red envelopes filled with money (for children) & more! All these decorations help create a festive atmosphere for people to enjoy during Tết Nguyên Đán!

5. Are There any Legends Associated With This Holiday?

Yes! In one popular legend from centuries ago known as “The Legend of Lac Long Quan & Au Co” tells how Au Co was sent down from Heaven by God to marry Lac Long Quan & have 100 children who eventually became ancestors of all Vietnamese people today! This legend is celebrated during Tết Nguyên Đán each year by many families who honor their ancestors & pray for good fortune in the coming year!

6. What Is Unique About Tết Nguyên Đán?

One thing that sets apart Tết Nguyên Đán from other holidays around the world is how it brings people together regardless of age or social class in order to celebrate one another’s successes & failures alike while looking forward towards better times ahead—a sentiment that resonates even more strongly today than ever before!

Celebrating Tết Nguyên Đán can be an exciting experience full of unique traditions that can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of age or social class! From traditional dishes such as banh chung & banh tet to decorations like lanterns & peach blossoms—this holiday has something for everyone interested in learning about Vietnam’s rich culture & history! Whether you plan on celebrating this special occasion yourself or just learning more about it—we hope these 6 facts have given you insight into what makes Tết Nguyên Đán such a unique holiday worth celebrating each year! Happy New Year!

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

The post 6 Fascinating Facts about Tet, the Vietnamese New Year appeared first on LA Weekly.