Tet - Vietnamese and Chinese Lunar New Year is the most important festival of Vietnamese people. This sacred festival sometimes falls between late January or early February (depends on Lunar Calendar) and Tet has become so familiar to the Vietnamese that when Spring arrives
Time: The 30th day of the twelfth lunar month of the previous year to the 3rd day of the first lunar month of the new year.
Objects of worship: grandparents and ancestors.
Participator: The biggest national festival that attracts to people through the country.
- Nice clothes, or traditional costumes.
- Ritual of ancestral worshipping and a rite to see Tao Quan (Kitchen God) off.
- Best wishes for a prosperous New Year and family gathering.
Tet is the biggest and the most sacred festival. It is the most attractive to a majority of the Vietnamese.
Tet falls on a time when the old year is over and the New Year comes by lunar calendar. This is also the time when the cycle of the universe finishes: winter ends and spring, the season of birth of all living things, comes.
Tet is an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. It is a time when one pays respect to his/her ancestors and grandparents who have brought up him/her. It is an occasion when everyone sends each other best wishes for a new year, stops thinking about unhappy things and says good things about each other.
On the 23rd day of the twelfth month by lunar calendar, there is a rite to see Tao Quan (Kitchen God) off. The rite to say goodbye to the old year is held on the 30th or 29th day (if that month has only 29 days) of the twelfth month by lunar calendar. The rite to welcome the New Year is held at midnight that day. The rite to see off ancestral souls to return to the other world is often held on the 3rd day of the first month by lunar calendar when the Tet holidays finish and everybody goes back to work.
There are various customs practiced during Tet such as ancestral worshipping, visiting a person’s house on the first day of the new year, wishing Tet wishes, giving lucky money to young children and old people, wishing longevity to the oldest people, opening rice paddies or opening a shop.