Archive for February 2, 2011

What is Tết?!

Posted in I. News, II. History, IV. Columns with tags , , , , on February 2, 2011 by Ian Pham

Today marks the eve of Vietnam’s famous holiday Tết, also known as the Lunar New Year for many other East Asian countries.  It is on Tết where everyone in Vietnam, as well as China, hold many jubilant celebrations to welcome the new year.  Gifts are exchanged, ancestors are honored and commemorated, and many kind words are given between neighbors and friends.  It’s also the time when the flowers bloom, a sign that spring is not far away.

The streets are decorated with bright traditional lamps, along with many other bright and vibrant decorations, although it is difficult to know how Tết is usually celebrated in these countries, as everything is regulated by the government.  Over here in the west, many parents and older family members like to visit the temples and churches, pay respects to the heavens and wish that blessings be bestowed on the ones they love.

One of the most common traditions of Tết is send your best wishes to the ones you care about, especially the elderly.  So if you wish to take part in this piece of Vietnamese culture, go to your mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, or any older member of the family that you care about (or how about just everybody!?), and wish them the best of luck on this new year.  No matter where you’re from or who you are, it shouldn’t be weird to tell someone you care about how you feel.

Happy New Year!

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!