Tet Holiday 2023

How To Celebrate Tet Like A Vietnamese: A Helpful Guide for Expats

Tet is a special occasion for Vietnamese and preparing for the holiday is even more important than the holiday itself.
January 17, 2023 | 07:42

According to the local’s tradition, back in the days when the country wasn’t as developed, Vietnamese looking forward to Tet – Vietnamese Lunar New Year to be able to unite with family members and have a feast together. It is the time for citizens of the S-Shaped Land to have a relaxing time after a year of hard work.

The paper clothes for the Kitchen God are displayed at the local market in Hai Ba Trung District. Photo: Ollie Le Nguyen
The paper clothes for the Kitchen God are displayed at the local market in Hai Ba Trung District. Photo: Ollie Le Nguyen
How To Celebrate Tet Like A Vietnamese: A Helpful Guide for Expats
A Vietnamese housewife is getting a set of Kitchen God clothes for her offering on the 23rd of Lunar month. Photo: Ollie Le Nguyen

Following the tradition, on the 23rd of the last lunar month, a big banquet with traditional food such as Boiled Chicken, Xôi – Vietnamese Sticky Rice, and some fruits were prepared with paper clothes, incense to farewell the Kitchen Gods so the family's ancestors could take over the family alter and spiritually reunite with the family for the occasion.

How To Celebrate Tet Like A Vietnamese: A Helpful Guide for Expats
You can get bánh chưng or sticky rice premade and ready to eat at any local market during Tet holiday. Photo: Ollie Le Nguyen
Leave to wrap the Bánh Chưng. Photo: Ollie Le Nguyen
Leaves to wrap the Bánh Chưng. Photo: Ollie Le Nguyen
Activities that Local Vietnamese Do For Tet
Nguyen My Linh's family alter display Lunar New Year delicatecy offering to the Kitchen Gods. Photo: Linh Bún

Counting down to the eve, the locals spend a lot of time cleaning up the house, sometimes they even take advantage of the long holiday to make final correction to perfect the house outlook. You’d see construction sites or paint works finish shortly just before the Lunar New Year.

Activities that Local Vietnamese Do For Tet
Five-colored sticky rice representing color of desire, properity, development, nature and love. Photo: Linh Bún

As a traveler or tourist you would easily spot a market popping up on the street selling kumquat trees, peach blossoms and some other plans for Tet decoration as Poinsettia or Golden marguerite. Their distinctive colors are considered to be the symbol of luck and fortune.

How To Celebrate Tet Like A Vietnamese: A Helpful Guide for Expats
A local Vietnamese was trying to get his peach blossom home from Den Lu Market. Photo: Ollie Le Nguyen
How To Celebrate Tet Like A Vietnamese: A Helpful Guide for Expats
“A tree on the back of the motorbike impressed me the most,” says Glen MacDonald, USA. Photo: Ollie Le Nguyen
Activities that Local Vietnamese Do For Tet
Nguyen My Linh shares that she wanted to pass down the tradition by teaching her children, nieces and nephews to make Banh Chung, Photo: Linh Bun
Activities that Local Vietnamese Do For Tet
Close up shot of My Linh's family alter. Photo: Linh Bún

After a month staying in Hanoi, Joey M, a French expat, is fascinated with the holiday vibes, saying “the traffic is quite interesting." The 31 years old decided to leave the cold Korea to visit Hanoi for the holiday, and he's impressed by the colors of Tet in the capital of Vietnam.

Activities that Local Vietnamese Do For Tet
My Linh's family alter. Photo: Linh Bún
Activities that Local Vietnamese Do For Tet
Hoan Kiem Lake, morning January 13, 2023. Perfect weather to travel around, enjoy the spring in Hanoi. Photo: Linh Bún
Activities that Local Vietnamese Do For Tet
Peach blossom are blooming welcome the spring. Photo: Linh Bún
International Students Embrace Tet Spirit International Students Embrace Tet Spirit

Many international students studying at Vietnamese universities are excited about the atmosphere of the approaching Lunar New Year.

Tet in a Nutshell Tet in a Nutshell

A brief primer on Vietnam's Lunar New Year.

The Art, Science, and Magic of Nhat Tan's Dao Trees The Art, Science, and Magic of Nhat Tan's Dao Trees

In a quiet corner of Tay Ho is a magical garden with well-manicured buds, ready to bloom for the Lunar New Year.

Ollie Le Nguyen

Insider

Lowering Neu Pole, Opening Seal to Celebrates New Year Viet's Home

Lowering Neu Pole, Opening Seal to Celebrates New Year

In the past, the Neu pole (a tall bamboo pole with red garment strips used to ward off evil spirits during the lunar New Year) lowering ceremony at the royal palace of the Nguyen Dynasty was performed to mark the end of the New Year holiday and prepare to enter a new working year.
13:02 | 29/01/2023
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