“Tet” (Tet Nguyen Dan) is the first important time of Vietnamese which contains the unique and traditional features of Vietnam reflecting the cycle of the universal and the mixture between human and nature.
“Nguyen” means beginning. “Dan” means dawn. Therefore, “Nguyen Dan” means the beginning dawn of a new year. Besides that, Tet holiday is the special time for all Vietnamese people gather in family to remember the ancestors, give the best wishes to each other.
About the relationship between people and nature, “ Tet” was origined from “ Tiet” ( weather) following the running of the earth, showing the altering the seasons spring- summer-fall- winter. It has a special meaning with a special agriculture country like Viet Nam
According to the Vietnamese conception and belief, that is blessing the earth and heaven are smoothly, the farmers think this time is to remember the genies relating to agriculture such as Land god, Rain god, Thunder god, water god, etc. The famers also don’t forget the animals which work hard with them every day like buffalo, cattle , poultry and food crops bring them up.
“Tet Nguyen Dan” in the human life is the holiday of every Vietnamese family. Vietnamese people has annually custom when Tet comes, whatever your job is, wherever you are, in spite of from thousands of kilometer, every one also desire to union with their family for three Tet days, want to pray in ancestor, look back the house, ancestor’ tombs where we used to have a good time of childhood and hope to relive with all lovely memories as we were born.
Coming back the home to “eat” Tet is back to the hometown where they were born. Therefore, the famous poet Huynh Van Nghe created immortal poetries meaning wherever he goes he always misses Thang Long region.
In traditional Vietnamese conception, Tet holiday is gathering, uniting and expanding the relationship with neighbors. It becomes the standard of society, teacher and student, friend relations or matchmakers. Tet holiday is the time everything in the year passes, welcomes a new year with many propitious things for each one and all people.
“ Tet Nguyen Dan” is traditional festival of our country. On last days in the year , all activities are forward to Tet for preparing Tet. Most of sectors, classes also have plans for these special festival. From commerce to transport, culture to public security, in particular commercial services is so busy. The government offices, enterprises and schools also make plans to take part in Tet and deal with needs in their companies.
It is clear that everyone prepares for Tet in rush, they go shopping for clothes, decorating their houses, making cakes, traditional meals to warmly great relatives.
Before and after Tet Nguyen Dan, Vietnamese people have many different customs depended on each region. There are some main customs as below:
Household Gods ceremony
“ Ong Cong Ong Tao” means household god who is the land god. Household god is really not a person but two men and a woman. The memory of the household Gods is on the 23th of December. On this day, Land god is worshiped in the main alter and the household god is worship in the kitchen. The offerings always accompany with some carps because they believe that in the last year the household Gods ride carps back to the heaven to tell everything happens in the earth in the year.
“Tat nien” Party
“Tat nien” means finishing works of an old year. On afternoon 30th of December, Vietnamese families also prepare a meal for worshiping ancestors to say good bye to the old year. After that, all the members of family gather around dinner table.
Following the traditional customs, every Vietnamese people try their best to pay all debt, improve relationship with everyone in the “Tat nien” time in order to wish the good new year.
The Giao Thua – New Year’s Eve party
The Giao Thua is the most sacred point of time, the passage from the old to the new yearIt is popularly believed that in Heaven are there twelve Highnesses in charge of morning and controlling the affairs on earth, each of them taking charge of one year. The Giao Thua is the moment of seeing off the old chieftain upon the conclusion of his term and welcoming in the new one upon his assumption of office. For thisreason, every home makes offerings in the open air to pray for a good new year.
After Giao Thua is the start of new year with many customs and practices, amusement and entertainment, all of a distinct Vietnamese folk culture. If you have an opportunity to visit Vietnam during the Tet Holidays and to welcome the Tet festivities, together with Vietnamese people, you will surely be proundly impressed by the distinct traditional culture that is rich in national identity.
Would you like to enjoy Tet Holiday with Vietnamese and Halong Bay as well? Let us take part in the new year of Vietnamese which is taken place from Feb 9th 2013 to Feb 14th 2013 to have the interesting experience with Oriental Sails and hotel partners of Oriental Sails. Please feel free to contact with us.