Category: Culture and tradition

Vietnamese Lunar New Year is a holiday of great human significance, This is the day for all people to reunite with their families, return to their hometown and commemorate their ancestors.

Vietnamese lunar new year - tet

Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year is the largest festival of Vietnamese traditional festivals,  the transition moment between the old and the new year, between a cycle of heaven and earth, plants and lives

Vietnamese Lunar New Year has a very great human meaning, expressing the longevity of life, the human desire for harmony between Thien – Dia – Nhan ( Heaven – Earth – Human). Lunar New Year is the expression of the relationship between human and nature in the spirit of the agricultural culture;  family and neighbours in ethnic communities; With sacred belief, great in spiritual life …

Old masters - Vietnamese lunar new year - tet

Old masters are giving characters.

Lunar New Year is the most important occasion in Vietnamese culture and some peoples which are influenced by Chinese cultures. In Vietnam, the full name of lunar new year is called ” Tet  Nguyen Dan “. The meaning of “Tet” is ” atmosphere “. The two words “Nguyen Dan” is of Han’s characters; “Nguyen” means beginning or earliest and ” Dan ” is early morning. So the correct phonetic transcripts should be “Tiet Nguyen Dan”.

Depend on the way that Vietnamese counts the lunar calendar is different from China, So Vietnamese Lunar New Year does not coincide exactly with the Chinese New Year and other Asian countries which have been influenced by Chinese cultures.

Because Lunar Calendar is the Calendar following The cycle of the moon, so the Lunar New Year is later than the New Year. The annual Lunar New Year usually lasts about 7 to 8 days at the end of the last year and 7 days of the new year (December 23 through January 7).

Origin of Vietnamese Lunar New Year

The origin of Vietnamese Tet is still controversial, but most of the information is that the Tet holiday originated from China and was imported to Vietnam for 1000 years under the domination of China. But according to the “Story of Chung Cake”, the Vietnamese have celebrated Tet before the Hung King dynasty, meaning before 1000 years under Chinese domination.

Vietnamese lunar new year in the past - tet

Vietnamese lunar new year in the past.

It can be seen that Tet in Vietnam has been around for a long time, Confucius wrote in the book, “I do not know what the New Year is, as I know that is the name of a great festival of the Man, they dance like crazy, drink and eat in those days”. Giao Chi Book ( Vietnamese ancient history book) also wrote, “The Giao Chi People often gather in groups to dance, sing and play for several days to celebrate a new crop, not just the farming population but all the high level of society people such as mandarin, Lord, and King also participate in this festival”. So can say that Lunar New Year originated from Vietnam.

Tet of the two countries Vietnam and China are influential together, but still have its private characteristics of each country.

The deep meaning of Lunar New Year for Vietnamese people.

Lunar New Year expresses the sympathy between heaven and earth and man and the spirits. Considering the relationship between people and nature. Tet is the weather following the operation of the universe, expressed in The cycle of the seasons ” Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter – has a special meaning for a society whose economy Still based on agriculture.

Peach blossoms - Vietnamese lunar new year - tet

Peach blossoms.

According to folk beliefs derived from the concept of ” Ơn trời mưa nắng phải thì ( meaning Rain and Sunny depends on The God) ” the farmer also use this time as an opportunity to make ceremonial offerings the gods related to the gains and losses crops such as land God, Rain God, Thunder God, Water God, Sun God … the farmer also do not forget the favours of animals and trees that helped and feed them by the rice. cattle, Birds these days.

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Vietnamese people have an annual custom when the New Year comes, whatever their jobs are, anywhere they are. they always look forward the reunion of the family during three days of Tet festival, Pray in front of the altar, Visit the church, the tomb, the well, the yard, … seeing the loving memories of their childhood. “Getting back home for Tet,” it’s not a common concept, but a pilgrimage to their origin, their native soil.

family reunion - Vietnamese lunar new year - tet

Family reunion in new year.

According to Vietnamese conception, New Year’s Day is the day of reunion, family members gathering, expanding relationships between neighbours, This is a common doctrine for the whole society: family sentiment, the sentiment of students and teachers, patients and doctors, brothers, friends…….

Lunar New Year is also a reunion with the dead. before the dinner on the evening of the 30th “before the New Year’s Eve” the families have burned incense to worship ancestors and invite relatives to come to their house for eating, Welcome New Year with children (worshipping ancestors). In each Vietnamese family, the ancestral altar has a very important place. The ancestral altar of in New Year festival is a way to show their love and respect for their ancestors and their relative deads with trays of fruit which are chosen carefully and a meal with many delicious dishes which are their ancestors’ favourites

From here until the end of Tet, the smoke of incense on the ancestral altar is blended with the sacred atmosphere of the transition moment between the old year and the New Year. that makes people become attached to their families more than ever in order to after the Lunar New Year, life begins a new cycle. People come back to their daily work, bring the warm affection of their family in the New Year to the life and new successes in the future.

Chung cake - Vietnamese lunar new year - tet

Chung cake – a traditional cake of Vietnamese people for New Year.

Tet is the first day of the new year, everyone has the opportunity to share their stories of life and dream in future. To welcome a new year, people often start some easy work such as cleaning, sweeping, painting, and redecorate their house, floors are cleaned, candles and incense burners are polished, tables and chairs are cleaned up. Adults and children will bath and dress in new clothes. This is also an occasion to renew the emotional and spiritual to make the relationships with their relatives are more attached…

The faults of the old year will be forgotten. For each one, sorrows, quarrels are set aside. At least in first three days of Tet, people laugh together, talking quietly, politely looking forward to next year the relationships will be betters.

The Vietnamese believe that the happy New Year’s Day will signal a good new year is coming. The old year will bring the unlucky things and the new year begins to bring them positive beliefs to their life. If the old year was quite lucky then the luck will continue until next year. With this meaning, Tet is also the days of optimism and hope.

What will people do in Vietnamese Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year is also regarded as everyone’s birthday, everyone gets one more year old so the first words of people wish in Vietnamese lunar new year when people meet each other is often about age. Adults often give children and old people luck money in a red envelope to wish children eat more, grow up faster, obedience and study well, And the old people will live longer and healthy so that their children can show their love and receive good luck.

Traditional dress - Vietnamese lunar new year - tet

Ao Dai – Vietnamese Traditional dress using in the new year.

Vietnamese people choose Tet as an opportunity to give thanks. Children give thanks to parents, parents give thanks to grandparents, ancestors, staffs give thanks to commanders. On the contrary, the leaders also thank the staff by the parties or gifts to celebrate Tet

The meaning of Lunar New Year for Vietnamese people is something very sacred and meaningful, not only the days to relax but also the days to come back their native soil, family and return to childhood.

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According to the customs of Vietnamese people for thousands of years, the Mid-Autumn Festival In Vietnam is celebrated in the middle of autumn, that is, the full moon day of August (lunar calendar). On this occasion, people make offerings to their ancestors and set traditional cakes and food in front of their house to worship the moon

Mid-Autumn Festival In Vietnam - Trung Thu

Mid-Autumn Festival In Vietnam

On this occasion, adults often drink wine, enjoy the moonlight, and sing “Hat Trong Quan” (  a type of popular art – referred to alternate songs with drum accompaniments) ; Children parade lantern, watch a lion dance, sing Mid-Autumn Festival songs, and enjoy candy and fruit which are set by their parents in the courtyard in the form of a tray. Traditionally, children’s enjoyment of fruit candy on this Mid-Autumn Festival is called “Pha Co” ( Deal out (serve out) a mid-autumn festival cake and fruit. )

The origin of Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam

Vietnamese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month following the customs of Chinese.

Once upon a time, the Emperor Duong Hoang (713-741 Tay) was strolling in Ngu Uyen gardens on lunar August fifteen night. That night, the moon was full and very bright, the sky was very beautiful, full of stars and the air was comfortable and cool. While The King was enjoying the beautiful scenery, he met a Taoist La who named Cong Vien ( also known as Diep Phap Thien ). The Taoist used magic to bring the king on the moon. On the moon, the scenery was even better what He imagined. The king deeply enjoyed the fairy scenery and immerse himself with melodious music, magical light and the beautiful fairies wearing all kinds of pretty and colorful dress while they were singing and dancing. In that wonderful moment, the king seemed to forget that The sky was brightening, Then The Taoist had to remind him, after that moment the king still regretted and wanted to come back the moon one more time.

The fairies on the moon - Mid-Autumn Festival In Vietnam - Trung Thu

The fairies on the Moon.

After Coming back to the royal palace, the king still remembered the moment when he had on the moon, so he wrote a song and named “Nghe Thuong Vu Y“, after that on the full moon night in August of every year, he ordered people all over the country have to organize The Lanterning Parade Festival and celebrate the full moon night while the king and Duong Gui Phi ( his queen) drinking wine under the moon and watching the dancers to celebrate his magical excursion on the moon. Since then, the organization of lanterns parade Festival and parties on the full moon day in August has become a custom of the people.

Emperor  Duong Minh Hoang immediately ordered to build  “Vong Nguyet Dai” ” ( a very high castle to enjoy the moonlight ). When the full moon night in August came.  the king sat on the top of Vong Nguyet Dai, enjoyed the full moon, and imagined the day when had been dancing with many beautiful fairies. So, The King immediately set the Mid-Autumn Festival on the full moon in August. Since then, Mid-Autumn Festival has become the annual ceremony, when the moon is full, shining,  the song “Khuc Nghe Thuong” would be sung in the Palace.

Trung Thu - Vong Nguyet Dai - Mid-Autumn Festival In Vietnam-min

Vong Nguyet Dai

There are also many people think that the custom of lanterns parade Festival and set traditional cakes and food in front of their house on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month the birthday of King Duong Minh Hoang. Because the full moon day of August was the birthday of Emperor Duong Minh Hoang, So the King ordered the people around the country had to hang lanterns and organize parties to celebrate his birthday. Since then, The Lantern Festival parade on the full moon day of August has become a custom of people.

According to that, since then, when the full moon day of August comes, everywhere, every home, everyone, especially children will be prepared by adults, the adults will guide children how to celebrate and enjoy the full moon day, teach them Dancing, drumming, parading lanterns, about 12 zodiac animals , and play with lots of interesting toys. The adults do not only go to shopping, organizing, teaching the children, but also play and enjoy the moon with their the children , Deal out the mid-autumn festival feast under the moon to makes the feeling of love and gratefulness with nature, when the calm, cool, pleasant, comfortable, exciting autumn come to look forward the future of the people and country.

The Lanterning Parade Festival - Mid-Autumn Festival In Vietnam - Trung Thu

The Lanterning Parade Festival in Hanoi

About the celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam, in addition to the dances and songs of Duong dynasty, people also make “moon cake” which has the shape of the moon to eat when the full moon festival comes, That custom has been in Vietnam from distant past to present day, Because of that reason, on the Mid-Autumn Festival, everywhere in the Vietnam try to produce a variety of toys, make many kinds of moon cake with many colors and flavors to sell for people everywhere in order to serve Mid-Autumn Festival.

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Moon Cake - Mid-Autumn Festival In Vietnam - Trung Thu

Moon Cake.

Lanterning parade in The Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam is the custom and great fun for everyone, especially children. This custom comes from ancient China. During the Tong Dynasty (960-1269), There was a legend told in folklore, that was: ” there was a golden carp, cultivated and became a holy fish, it often changed into a person to tease young women. Seeing that, Bao Cong told everyone brought lanterns with the shapes of many kinds of animals such as carp, cattle, and fowls, hanging in front of the house in order to make the devil not dare to annoy and harm them anymore. Since then, when the full moon day of August comes, everyone often releases carps and hang lanterns in front of the house, and tell children to go out and lantern parade in order to make the holy fish scared.

Mid-Autumn Festival and customs during this occasion, imported from China into Vietnam since the Ly dynasty. But it was not until the August Revolution of Vietnam achieved success, and especially since 1947, when Uncle Ho sent Mid-Autumn Letters to children all over the country, the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam really became the children’s festival for all children and celebrated. From then on, the lanterning parade on the full moon day night become a custom of Vietnam.

Both Chinese and Vietnamese make mooncakes to worship, eat, gift, and entertaining guests. The next common is that Both Chinese and Vietnamese organize the lanterning parade in The Mid-Autumn Festival night.

Meaning of Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam

The Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival has many special differences than the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. According to Vietnamese custom, parents will set traditional feast for children celebrate This day, buy and make all style of candle-lit lanterns to hang in the house and let their children parade lanterns around.

Mid-Autumn Festival feast includes moon cakes, candy, sugarcane, grapefruit, and other fruits. This is an opportunity for children to understand the loving care of their parents in a concrete way. Therefore, family love becomes closer.

Pha Co ( Feast ) - Mid-Autumn Festival In Vietnam - Trung Thu

Pha Co ( Feast ).

On this occasion, people also buy mooncake, tea and wine in order to worship ancestors and gift grandparents, parents, teachers, friends, relatives, and others. It is really a good opportunity for the children to express their gratitude to their parents and to show their love to each other.

The Chinese often organize Lion Dance during the Lunar New Year. Vietnamese people especially organize  Lion dance during the Mid-autumn Festival. The lion represents a good omen. The Chinese do not have these customs.

The Lion Dance - Mid-Autumn Festival In Vietnam - Trung Thu

Lion Dance of Mid-autumn Festival in Vietnam.

In the past, the Vietnamese also held ” Hat Trong Quan ” ( a type of popular art using drum) during the Mid-autumn Festival. The beats of the art often beat three times as “Thinh, Thung, Thinh”, In the old days, girls and boys used The beats of ” Hat Trong Quan” to sing on the full moon nights, especially on the full moon night in August. Boys and girls sang together for both fun and choosing their lover.

At first, Mid-autumn was a festival for adults to enjoy the beauty of nature, eat cake, and drink tea to enjoy the full moon in mid-Autumn. Gradually, the Mid-Autumn Festival becomes a Festival for Children, but adults also participate a little in it.

In short, Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam is a very meaningful custom. That is the meaning of caring, filial piety, gratitude, of friendship, reunion, and love. It is necessary to maintain and develop this noble meaning Festival.

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1. Where Ghost money come from?

Vietnamese spiritual life includes our belief on the deads and their life in another world, in Vietnamese culture if ones forget to worship their ancestors, it means they forget their origin, in vie. The using of Ghost money, Spirit money or money for the deads is deeply rooted in Asian culture.

2.The definition of ghost money:

Ghost money or Spirit money traditionally made from bamboo, emits large quantities of carcinogenic chemicals such as carboxyls, carbonyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Each kind of joss money are rather different; sometimes they look like the real money of people. Westernized varieties include copies of Bank notes (Thai Baht, Chinese Yuan, US Dollar, or even the Vietnamese Dong, paper credit cards and cheques). Some believers even go as far as offering papier-mâché cars, motorbikes, houses, toilets, servants, iPhones, IPads, passports, flight tickets, rice cookers and even flat-screen TVs. The bank notes are specifically used for dead ancestors to give as a tribute to the God of Death for a short stay or to avoid punishment. The copies of bank note are often of fulsome denominations – they can range anywhere between $5,000 and $1,000,000. This money carries a picture of the ‘Bank of the Hell’ on the back. ‘Hell’ in itself is not viewed as a place of lucky things, but a more neutral realm.

Burning Ghost Money In Vietnam - paper stuff

Ghost money and paper stuff

3.  The belief of ghost of Vietnamese people:

Setting ghost money on fire and votive paper such as hats, clothes, shoes, cars, houses, toiletries and toys are popular from the north to south of Vietnam. Exceptions to this tradition are Protestants, Roman Catholics, Protestants and some others religions, which mostly come from the Western culture and account for less than 10% of the Vietnamese population.

Burning Ghost Money In Vietnam

The ghost money is believed to be saved in an afterlife bank of sorts, from where the ancestor can make a withdrawal. The ritual is considered to be derived from a mix of the region between Taoism and folklore. The practice of ancestor worshiping is largely religious, stemming from the fact that the deceased spirits still have an interest in the affairs of the world. If we can make them Keeping happy they will bring blessings from for the living. Another explanation for the concept is that the living will be allowed to ask spirits to fulfill their wishes or for which they are indebted. This debt may not be entirely pay off while they were alive, so the ghost money sent after death will be used to pay for whatever they owe the spirits. See more
Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival – Tet

4. How do Vietnamese people use Ghost money?

Ghost money has many different ways of using; however, it is usually used as a symbol of payment or transformation of spiritual debts. The paper used as “money” after burning will become spirit money when they are used as symbolic offerings to ghosts, gods, and ancestors. The using of ghost money for the deads allows it to be transferred to ancestors, gods, and ghosts to be used as real currency in the other realm. Moreover, spirit money is an important thing in association with the offering of food to some ancestors, ghosts, and gods. The offering of food servers will bring the ancestors and other beings in the other world closer to the family more and more. It serves as a bonding tool to make both worlds closer together. This can be seen in many different cultures all around the world where dinners, feasts, and other social events use money to make the community close together. Ghost money, on the other hand, serves to separate the living world from the world of ancestor, gods, and ghosts. It will be not natural to have both of these worlds in close connection with each other. The use of Ghost money is very alike to how we use money in our life today. It is practically used as a tool to maintain a certain level of distance between two worlds during a transaction. The concepts of money and food correlate directly to the offerings ancestors, gods and ghosts, We use money to separate them from us and food to bring them close to us.

A Man Is Burning Ghost Money

Vietnamese people celebrate spiritual practices on the first and fifteenth day of every month of the lunar calendar. They burn ghost money and incense sticks in front of their home as offerings to gods, Buddha, and the ancestors. They simply pray for happiness, good luck,  and pay their respect to ancestors. These rituals are also often performed at Vietnamese funerals or on the anniversaries of the deaths of family members and relatives each year.Ghost money is often used in many differing activities in Vietnam. For example, the important role of Ghost money is to repay the debts of family ancestors. The spirit of the ancestor must obtain fate and body to pursue it karmic course. Nevertheless, to do that, it must pay its mystical debt that accumulates over a person’s life

This basic explains why people burn such large amounts of Ghost money at funerals or some anniversaries which is related with the deads Because no one in their life ever completes succeeds in repaying his or her celestial debt. their descendants have to pay for them after their death. their descendants attempt to clear off this debt by praying and making monetary donations to the pagoda and temples. Nevertheless, no one can have enough time pay off their debts entirely while they are still alive, so their alive family members have to burn Ghost money which is transmitted to their deceased family member. The deceased family member will use this spirit money to help them embarks on their karmic journey by paying down the remainder of their debt.

Vietnamese people have been burning Ghost money since they were kids, step by step, the kids learn this tradition from their parents. They throw the money into it a heavy and big cylinder, made of metal or something like that and put that in front of the house and burn the paper money and paper stuff. Inside their house, they have the altar where they use to burn incense and pray to the dead.

In Vietnam Christmas is not a public holiday, But it has been received much recognition from the local vietnamese people as well as young generation. So if you come to visit Hanoi In Christmas, This is 5 places that you can spend your Christmas night in Hanoi.

Hang Ma Street

Located in the heart of Hanoi Old Quarter, Hang Ma Street always catches up with the trend by selling ornaments in some special events such as Mid-Autumn Festival, Christmas, International Children’s Day and New Year Holiday. Anything you need to decorate your Christmas tree as well as gifts and Christmas cards can easily be found there with low prices.

5 places For Christmas night in Hanoi - Hang Ma Street

Hang Ma Street

Spending your trip in walking around Hanoi Old Quarter should be a good idea because it may remind you of your hometown with Christmas Trees being put up in front of restaurants; numbers of Santa and his reindeer on sides of clothing stores or snowmen made from cotton near Ice-cream shops. It is not weird if you see one or two Santa driving motorbike instead of the reindeer on streets because they are actually gifts delivers.

Big Church

5 places For Christmas night in Hanoi - Big Church

Big Church.

Praying in the church is indispensable for any Christian believer on Christmas Eve. Luckily, there are a lot of churches around Hanoi in which people can enjoy a wide variety of religious activities as well as hymns singing and other music performance. Among the churches around Hanoi, Saint Joseph Cathedral located at 40 Nha Trung Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi should be the most magnificent and famous one. Besides, you can visit Ham Long Church at 21 Ham Long Street, Hoan Kiem or Cua Bac Church at 56 Phan Dinh Phung, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.

Hotels dinner buffet

5 places For Christmas night in Hanoi - Hotels dinner buffet

Hotels dinner buffet.

Christmas is the occasion on which high-star hotels in Hanoi usually offer the most luxury buffet party and hilarious music performance. Standing out among the hotels should be Sofitel Metropole Hanoi where 1001 fairy tales are reproduced in one night in its Spices Garden and La Beaulieu restaurant. Artists wearing Snow White, Aladdin, or Peter Pan costume will entertain you with special art shows while you are tasting excellent international foods. The price not too expensive, it is USD 33 for kids from 3-8, USD 46 for children aging 9-12 and USD 75 for an adult.

With a lower price range, about USD 20-40, visitors can still enjoy a luxury Christmas night at Melia Hanoi, Hilton Hanoi Opera, or Hanoi Daewoo.

Music shows and parties

On Christmas Eve or the night before, there are usually a lot of fantastic music shows of various genres such as pop-ballad; jazz or classic occurring in Hanoi, particularly in Hanoi Opera House. The themes of those shows are no doubt about Christmas.

5 places For Christmas night in Hanoi - Hanoi Opera House

Hanoi Opera House.

In addition, international organizations and universities and embassies regularly organize Christmas parties to welcome their native civilians and people with the same interest to join and cheer up for the night.

Shopping malls

5 places For Christmas night in Hanoi- Shopping malls

Shopping malls.

Because there is not Black Friday in Hanoi, New Year Eve and Noel are good chances for shopping malls launching their biggest promotional campaign of the year which shocking sale off and hundreds of new arrivals. Vincom Plaza Tower, Parson, Garden Mall or Ruby Plaza are the most remarkable shopping centers in Hanoi. Do not miss this golden opportunity to pick up most trendy pieces of fashion by yourself.

Nowadays, Christmas becomes one of the four most important festivals of Vietnam each year, including New year Holiday, the birthday of Buddha, and the Mid-autumn Festival. Although Christians observed the religious rituals of Christmas.

christmas in Vietnam

Christmas in Vietnam.

Traditional Vietnamese religions are Buddhism and the Chinese philosophies of Confucianism and Taoism. However, during French rule, a plenty of people became Christians, that occupies 8% to 10% of the population because the Vietnamese are a fun-loving, sociable people and the various Vietnam festivals and events are actually occasions for them to a gala time. Christmas is a grand party in Vietnam.

History of Christmas in Vietnam

Christmas Holiday in Vietnam has had a tumultuous history. The Catholics are a minority in Vietnam but they used to celebrate Christmas quite in peace right from the days of the French colonial time. It is until the Communists took over political power in 1975. During that time, the church-state relations soured and the Catholics were relegated to celebrating Jesus’s birthday in privacy.

Christmas In Vietnam in The war time

Christmas In Vietnam in The war time.

Since the end of the Vietnamese War in 1975, church-state relations haven’t always been smooth. Nevertheless, they have been improving since the introduction of economic reforms in the late 1980s. Liberalist policies adopted since the 1980s saw Vietnam warming up to Western influences and ideas. Of course, Christmas in Vietnam came back triumphantly. Nowadays, Christmas is also the major festivals in Vietnam which is celebrated with much fanfare by all religious communities.

Phat Diem Cathedral in Ninh Binh Province is known as the spiritual home for the seven million Catholics living in Vietnam, a predominantly Buddhist nation. Hundreds of Catholics gather for Christmas Eve Mass in the northern city of Phat Diem. Children staged a nativity play to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in front of the city’s Cathedral which was built in 1891.

Christmas in Vietnam

Christmas is a huge event in Vietnam, particularly in Ho Chi Minh City. Christmas celebrations here are like any other cities in the Western countries. The Christians attend a Midnight mass on Christmas Eve and return home to a sumptuous Christmas dinner. The Christmas dinner consists of chicken soup while wealthier people eat Christmas pudding and turkey.

On Christmas Eve, Vietnamese people, specially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City like to go into the city center, where there is a Catholic Cathedral. The streets are very crowded on that night.

christmas-in-hanoi

Christmas in The Old Quarter of Hanoi.

People celebrate by taking pictures, throwing confetti and even enjoying the Christmas decorations and lights of department stores and big hotels as well. A lot of cafes and restaurants are open for people to enjoy a snack!

Vietnam used to be the French Colony, that is the reason why there are still French influences in the Christmas traditions. A plenty of Catholic churches has a big nativity crib scene or ‘creche’ with nearly life-size statues of  Joesph, Mary, baby Jesus, the shepherds, and animals. In some Catholic parishes in Ho Chi Minh City, people usually have big crib scenes in front of their houses and decorate the whole street, turning it into a Christmas area. Those are popular for people to visit and look at the scenes.

In addition, like in France, the special Christmas Eve meal is called ‘rebellion’ and has a ‘bûche de Noël’ which is a chocolate cake in the shape of a log for desert. Vietnamese people usually give presents of food and at Christmas, a bûche de Noël is consider as the most popular gift. Other Christmas presents aren’t very common, but some young people like to exchange Christmas cards together.

The Yuletide spirit of giving and sharing has been embraced with an earnest by Vietnamese people. Generous as they are, the Vietnamese give out gifts in plenty during the Christmas celebrations in Vietnam. Nonetheless, the children are more keen to have their stockings and shoes stuffed in with goodies from Santa’s bulging sack. The European customs of the Christmas tree and Santa Claus are popular and children would like to leave their shoes out on Christmas Eve.
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Free walking tour in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Ao dai ( Vietnamese Traditional Dress) is a unique beautiful traditional cloth of Vietnamese people. Coming along with the changes of Vietnam, the traditional long dress has developed a lot so far.

An ‘Ao dai’ space will open on December 11th in Hanoi in order to introduce visitors both in Vietnam and all over the world the traditional Vietnamese long dress. This space open for free at 18 Au Co Street in Hanoi’s Tay Ho district, Hanoi.

Originated from the cross-collared robe ( Ao Giao Lanh Bon Vat) in the 17th century, Vietnamese Traditional Dress has undergone many changes to serve the needs and roles of women at every period of time before gradually shaping in the 1960s.

Ao Dai - Vietnamese Traditional Dress

Ao Dai – Vietnamese Traditional Dress

This is One in a million costumes that is both discreet, suitable to flatters the graceful beauty, soft of Vietnamese women like their traditional dress. Ao Dai was used to be Vietnamese women’s daily costumes before the 1970s, the modern Ao Dai With many versatile features from design, material to pattern, is still an infinite source of inspiration for designers and fashion followers of all ages.

Cross-collared robe – Vietnamese traditional Dress in The past(17th century)

The early style of the ao dai was the Vietnamese cross-collared robe, its precursor was the four-part dress Of Vietnam in the past. The cross-collared robe often covered Yem Lot ( a traditional Vietnamese bodice), black skirt and a female belt which has the same color of four-part dress, but two laps released freely

cross-collared robe - Ao Dai - Vietnamese Traditional Dress

Cross-collared robe of Vietnamese Women

 

Four-part dress (body of 18th century – early 20th century)

To make cultivation and trading easier, the ancients made Vietnamese Four-part dress with two front laps that could be tied together, and the two laps sewed into a flap of dress. The ancients had to Sew the two behind laps into a flap because at that time the width of the cloth was only about 35-40 cm.While urban women did not have to work very much then they often dressed five-part dress to distinguish themselves from the poor working classes. As a costume of the popular class, four-part dress usually sewed from dark cloth to be easier for daily work

Four-part dress - tassels strap hat - Vietnamese Traditional Dress

The five-part dress has 4 laps like Four-part dress, which is sewn together into two front and back flaps like Ao Dai. The fifth lap was sewed under the front flap as a piece of discreet underwear.It has  A loose collar , and was worn popularly in the early of 20th century.

Lemur Ao Dai (1939 – 1943)

The daring breakthrough that contributed to the design of today’s Ao Dai was the “Le Mur” ao dai, created by Singer Cat Tuong in 1939. Unlike the wide traditional design , Le Mur Dress clungs The curves of the body with a lot of Western details such as puff sleeves, Heart-shaped collar and bow… This design was strongly condemned because of its indecent style so There were only stylish singers who dared to wear this Kind of Ao Dai at That Time. By 1943, this type of shirt gradually forgotten.

Lemur Ao Dai - Ao Dai - Vietnamese Traditional Dress

Lemur Ao Dai

Ao Dai  ( Vietnamese Traditional Dress ) with raglan sleeves (1960)

The way to sew in that time had a major drawback was that the wrinkles were very easy to appear on two sides of the armpits. In the 1960s, the Dung factory in Dakao, Saigon, who showed the way to Sew raglan sleeves on the Ao Dai .  With this way, the sleeve was connected from the neck to the armpit. The front flap was connected to back flap through the button of Ao Dai from the neck to the armpit and along a side.

 Ao Dai with raglan sleeves - - Ao Dai - Vietnamese Traditional Dress

Ao Dai with raglan sleeves

This way did not only minimize wrinkles in the armpit and allow the shirt to fit into the wearer’s curve, but also helped the woman to move comfortably and flexibly. From This style, the Vietnamese traditional dress has been shaped.

Ao Dai of Ba nhu ( a famous female designer ) (early 1960s)

In the early 1960s, Tran Xuan Xuan ( a female designer), Ngo Dinh Nhu’s wife, designed an open-collar dress, removed the former collar, or also called traditional collar, plunging collar.

 Ao Dai of Ba nhu - Ao Dai - Vietnamese Traditional Dress

Designer Tran Xuan Xuan with her own style of Ao Dai

The famous Ao Dai called Ao Dai ( Vietnamese traditional Dress ) of Nhu designer got a strongly condemned because it was against the tradition and fine customs of society at the time. Today, the crewneck Ao Dai is very popular for its comfort, and suit with the tropical climate Of Vietnam .

Read more about: Vietnamese culture and tradition

Narrow-waisted Ao Dai- Mini Ao dai (1960 – 1970)

In the 1960s, the Narrow-waisted Ao Dai challenged the traditional style to become stylish fashion. At this time, the convenient bra was widely used. Urban women with opened-minded wanted to flatter the body curves by the tight Narrow-waisted Ao Dai.

 Mini Ao dai - Vietnamese Traditional clothing

Vietnamese girls were wearing Ao dai ( 1960 – 1970 )

Near the end of the 1960s, Mini Ao Dai became popular among girls for its comfort and convenience. The narrow and short flaps came close to the knee, wide and did not have Narrow-waisted but still sewed to fit the body curve.

Modern Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional Dress) (1970 – present)

After the 1970s, the changed lifestyle made the Ao Dai gradually disappeared on the street. However, from 2000 to now, the Ao Dai has come back with many different designs and materials by the creative and innovative collections of designers Vo Viet Chung, Si Hoang, Thuan Viet … Not only traditional style, but also modified into a wedding dress or some western festival like Christmas in Vietnam, short flap dress to wear with jeans …

 

Modern Ao Dai - Vietnamese Traditional Dress

Tang Thanh Ha ( a famous designer) with her design of Ao Dai

The collection for “Ao Dai” show

Located at LanHuong Fashion House, the show will display a plenty of samples of Ao dai from different historical periods such as the Ly, Tran, and Nguyen dynasties to these modern days. Moreover, the program saw the participation of famous designers, artists, musicians, and citizens of the city. That was a good chance to provide the guests with the beauty of the traditional long dress Hanoi in particular and Vietnam in general.

Ao Dai - Vietnamese Traditional Dress team

Ao Dai – Vietnamese Traditional Dress

According to Mr. Do Dinh Hong, a director of Hanoi’s Tourism Department, this show aims to create a new attraction to visitors as well as a meeting for fashion designers.

Visitors will have a good chance to explore the process of making clothes such as designing, tailoring, embroidering and finishing an Ao Dai. They can also exchange talks with artisans from Van Phuc silk village, My Duc silk village, and Trieu Khuc Weaving villa or Quat Dong Embroidery village.

The organization committee expects that the space can facilitate cultural and tourism exchanges.

Ao Dai - Vietnamese Traditional Dress

Designer Lan Huong who is a Hanoian woman

Designer Lan Huong who is a Hanoian woman, has developed a strong attachment to Ao dai. She has worked hard to promote the national costume to foreign friends for 20 years because of her passion. With the loyal passion, she was the first people to be awarded the Vietnamese Ao Dai Artisan title. Besides Lan Huong designer, there are a lot of other Ao dai’s artists such as Trinh Bich Thuy, Minh Hanh, La Hang, Minh Minh, Nhi Hoang and Duc Hai.

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The first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route started to open since 29th December morning in Hanoi. The aim of this project is to decrease traffic jam in the rush hour, which is a hard problem in Hanoi and some famous cities in the world as well.

New Bus Rapid Transit

There are more than 20 buses using their own separate bus lane and 21 stops located on the median strips on the streets within the route. Each bus has the capacity of 90 passengers.

bus rapid transit in ha noi Bus Rapid Transit Route

Bus Rapid Transit Route – one solution for Vietnamese traffic

With the route from Kim Ma Bus Station in Ba Dinh District, Hanoi to Yen Nghia Station in Ha Dong District, the 14.7-kilometer route runs through few busy streets such as Ba La, Tran Phu, Le Trong Tan, Le Van Luong,  Lang Ha and Giang Vo Streets. It is expected to take only 30 minutes to go from Kim Ma to Yen Nghia.

Bus Rapid Transit can not go rapidly in the rush hour

In fact, a lot of cars run in the bus lane without being stopped, meanwhile, the BRT buses sometimes have to left their lane. Therefore, a lot of people are doubts whether BRT buses can be faster than normal buses or not because of the narrow streets and awareness when in traffic of Vietnamese people.

New Fine Announced

The biggest difficulty plan for this problem is having suitable separate lanes for BRT in case the streets here are too narrow. In order to deal with this situation, the authority of Han has announced the fine to vehicles which runs on the BRT lanes. The fine may range from USD38 to USD57 if the vehicles are caught going into the bus lane on the Bus Rapid Transit corridor.

Bus Rapid Transit Route

Bus Rapid Transit Route

A rapid bus route is only one small of the popular measure to decline traffic jams, but it cannot help the city to deal with major congestion particularly in the rush hours. Therefore, local authorities must do a far better job at city planning and set aside more lanes for transport infrastructure.


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Peach Blossom Flowers for Tet in Vietnam

Peach Blossom Flowers is one of the most famous flowers in Vietnam and it is used as a decoration for Tet holidays.

Tet’s Flowers

In the North of Vietnam, the little pink peach flower is the signal of spring and it makes the peach tree to become a popular and traditional decoration on New Year holiday of Vietnamese people.
On the other hand, for people in the South, the yellow apricot blossom flowers are always celebrated for the Tet occasion.

Peach Blossom Flowers for Tet in Vietnam

Peach Blossom Flowers for Tet in Vietnam

The Tet holiday begins on January 28th, 2017.

Recent days, at the Quang Ba flower market on Lac Long Quan Street in Hanoi, local people have been excited with the Nhat Tan peach blossom flowers. It is one of the most beautiful and famous peach flower types in the North of Vietnam. To meet the increasing demand of Hanoians, farmers who grow peach blossom flowers have applied special cultivation techniques to help flowers blossoming early. At this time, people are preparing the celebration of the Lunar New Year holiday with the traditional decoration, that is the reason why this kind of flowers of spring cannot be missed.

Market flower on before Tet

market flower in viet nam - Peach Blossom Flowers for Tet in Vietnam

Flower market on before Tet

Mrs. Nguyen Thi Lien, living at Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi visiting the market with a peach blossom flower branch on her hand which costs VND 160,000 (US$7). She said that her husband and she usually came to that market twice a year to buy peach flowers. Once for the New Year and once for Tet holiday.
One flower branch usually costs between VND100,000 ($4.5) and VND200,000 ($9), depending on its size.
Not only being a place for people to buy flowers and kumquat trees for Tet but also Quang Ba ‘pink market’ has already attracted a plenty of young people who go with their friends to pose with the endearing flowers. Therefore, farmers have to take more extensive care of these flowers to have them bloom on Tet.


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