Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival – Tet

Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival – Tet
Vietnamese lunar new year - tet

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.

Travel With Hanoi Free Tour Guides << Kick Here.

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.

Read More About Vietnamese Culture And Tradition.

About Author

dat tuan


January 31, 2018
[…] This is a beautiful architecture of Cham people, about 2km from the center of Nha Trang city. “Ponagar” means Mother Country in Cham language. The tower complex consists of four stupas, two shrines. Especially, after visiting Ponagar Tower, you can come to Thap Ba hot spring to take a mud-bath. See more about Vietnamese lunar new year […]