Vietnamese New Year - Dragon dancing perfomance

Vietnamese New year - Have you ever?

Vietnamese New Year, or Tet as it is known in  all Asian countries is celebrated according to the lunar calendar. Typically, travel companies will advise you not to travel to Vietnam during this time, as many services or destinations will be closed. That’s true, but Sagomeko advises you how to travel and arrange your trip properly so you too can join in the Tet celebrations to welcome a New Year. Tet is a fabulous way to learn more about Vietnamese culture, festivals, and lifestyle.
Hi! i am Thi - local guide in Vietnam. Please, keep in touch with Sagomeko & make your trip better with local tour-guides'advises. Cheers !


Vietnamese New Year

When do people celebrate Tet Vietnam holidays

According to the guidebook sites, you find it really troublesome to work out when Tet is as books often say it’s in January, and again in February, but without explaining that it moves depending on the lunar calendar So when is the correct time? Asians in general and Vietnamese New Year in particular, use 2 types of calendars for their daily activities: Solar Calendar (Western one) and Lunar Calendar (Chinese one). Therefore, you should have to understand the Tet calendar by year, not a certain calendar day. And so, each lunar year will be named after it’s 12 zodiacs (Mouse, Buffalo, Tiger, Cat or Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Dog, Chicken, Pig) For example: In 2020, Vietnam welcomes Tet on January 24, 2020 and this will be the Year of the Mouse. Not only in Vietnam, will the image of the mouse be a symbol for 2020, but also throughout Asia.
Vietnamese New Year of Rat

Why Vietnamese New Year ?

Why Tet is the biggest holidays in Vietnam

For the Western calendar, the Christmas holiday is a big one and lasts more than a week. Tet is similar, about 7-9 days depending on the year. The time is long enough for companies and factories to suspend workers and employees returning home from South to North, back to home sweet home. Therefore, you will experience traffic jams from the roadss to the airport before & after Vietnamese New Year, as the entire nation moves around.
Tips: Move early to the airport, you may be tired of waiting, but you will feel the atmosphere of Tet holiday. Images of the whole family on a motorbike on a long journey, they bring chickens, ducks, fruits, and cakes … apricot branches, peach blossoms on their shoulders as they travel home to remote areas, bringing happiness and blooms everywhere.
apricot blossom tree for Tet - New Year Holiday

Vietnamese New Year - 2020

Things to do during the Tet-Vietnam holidays in 2020

Flower Market on Tet holiday: In the days before Tet, the Flower Markets on Tet holiday are extremely crowded and colorful. Along the rivers, ships carrying bonsai trees and flowers park up along both sides of the rivers. On the shore, buyers and sellers add to the hustle and bustle. For you, the pine tree is the most popular Christmas tree. Vietnamese love apricot and peach trees because they mean good luck for the New Year. On this occasion, the local flower market also has: kumquat trees which symbolize happiness, figs which bring prosperity in business, and corn plants which when placed in front of the house bring harmony, raspberry chrysanthemums, marigold flowers. .. many flowers have auspicious qualities, but we’ve named just a few of the most popular for you.
Flowers for Tet-Vietnam Holiday
Dragon dance: This is a very popular activity in Asia and Chinatown around the world. The Lion dance in Vietnam is really interesting as he dances from temples to people’s houses. The drumming sound attracts the attention of passers by. According to Eastern beliefs, drums & gongs destroy malice and purify impurities. The Lion dance team is invited into the house to perform by the host, in this way the dance brings good luck and fortune to the householders and it’s also a way of advertising and a way of giving thanks from owners of businesses to their customers.
Vietnamese New Year - Dragon dancing perfomance

Local farmers market: Spring is a season of laden fruits, ripe and fresh. They are sold everywhere: mangoes, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, watermelons… Delicious fresh vegetables are selected to cook delicious food for this family. On the altar of our ancestors, there is always a tray of five fruits: custard apple, coconut, papaya, mango, figs, meaning the five elements and fortune. At the same time, there are Tet cakes for the South, Banh chung of the North, and pickled cabbage, pickled leeks…

plenty of fruits for Vietnamese Holiday

Watch fireworks: big cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Can Tho, Will organize fireworks displays. Hanoi has 6 high-level fireworks locations: Hoan Kiem Lake area (Hoan Kiem district); Lac Long Quan flower garden (Tay Ho district); My Dinh Stadium (Nam Tu Liem District); Thong Nhat Park (Hai Ba Trung District); Ho Van Quan (Ha Dong district); Son Tay ancient citadel (Son Tay town). Ho Chi Minh City will organize high-level fireworks at the top of the Saigon River tunnel (Thu Thiem Ward, District 2) and the tallest Landmark building in Vietnam at Ward 22, Binh Thanh District.

Enjoy traditional cuisine: Tet holiday is the month of entertainment and parties. Whether a family is small, or large, rich or poor, we will buy food reserves and cook delicious food for all the members of the family. The south has banh tet, the north has banh chung: all made with delicious sticky rice, filled with pork, green beans, and wrapped in banana or dong leaves (phrynium). Another indispensable dish in the tray of the New Year: braised pork with fresh coconut water and duck eggs, served with salads to relieve boredom.

Understanding the spiritual life: The life of the local people is not only concerned about family members who are alive, but also those who have passed away. During this holiday, Vietnamese not only go to the temples, to worship the gods to pray for peace and prosperity, but also visit and clean and cut the grass in the cemetery. They will bring fragrant incense, flowers and fruits to those places. On the 23th day of the 12th lunar month, the Vietnamese also perform a very special ceremony; they burn votive candles and send off their 3 Kitchen’s Gods to heaven, riding on a freed carp, to report on how the host family have lived that last year. (If you would like to know the full and fascinating story of the 3 Kitchen Gods, just google 3 Kitchen Gods Vietnam).

Vietnamese New Year tips

A few tips from Sagomeko

Choose a hotel at least near the center of Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Danang. During our Holidays or New Year, it’s a great time for you to walk around during the day. You also do not have to worry about finding restaurants and bars. Tet is a very important event for Vietnam, if you want to know more about our country. Don’t forget to review Sagomeko’s articles on exploring Mekong and Saigon.

Vietnam Holiday in China Town (Aka Cho Lon)

some references

A few travel agents you refer for Vietnamese New Year

If you have feedback on this article, or you have visited Vietnam during Tet and would like to offer additional advice for other travelers please contact us. We love to receive your emails.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year and here’s wishing you Good Luck, Good Fortune and Good Fun during the year of the Mouse.

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