Vietnam News Today (Jan. 21): Vietnamese Traditional Offering Trays Prepared for Lunar New Year's Eve

Vietnam News Today (Jan. 21): Vietnamese traditional offering trays prepared for Lunar New Year's Eve; Overseas Vietnamese considered ambassador bringing Vietnam to the world; Vibrant commodity market amid increased purchasing power ahead of Tet; Vietnamese tourists prefer Asian destinations for Tet 2023.
January 21, 2023 | 06:56

Vietnam News Today (Jan. 21) notable headlines

Vietnamese traditional offering trays prepared for Lunar New Year's Eve

Overseas Vietnamese considered ambassador bringing Vietnam to the world

Vibrant commodity market amid increased purchasing power ahead of Tet

Vietnamese tourists prefer Asian destinations for Tet 2023

Coach Philippe Troussier likely to lead Vietnam national team

Vietnam, Thailand eye bright cooperation prospects in all fields: Thai Ambassador

Ancient houses in Quang Tri imbued with typical characteristics of Vietnamese countryside

Party leader offers incense in commemoration of late President Ho Chi Minh

Mekong Delta rice farming to become a leading sector in agricultural production

An offering trays for Lunar New Year's Eve. Photo: VNA
An offering trays for Lunar New Year's Eve. Photo: VNA

Vietnamese traditional offering trays prepared for Lunar New Year's Eve

According to ancient traditions, on the last day of a lunar year, a typical Vietnamese family puts aside everything to prepare a feast to worship their grandparents and ancestors, praying for a brighter year ahead.

The Lunar New Year’s Eve meal is an opportunity for Vietnamese to invite ancestors and deceased family members to celebrate Tet and reunite with their children and grandchildren. It also connects generations in the family to see off the old year and welcome a new year full of happiness and good things.

According to Tran Huu Son, deputy head of the Vietnam folk arts association, each family normally prepares two offering trays of food on the occasion. The oldest man in the house will burn incence and read prayers inviting gods and ancestors to come to celebrate Tet with his family.

In the past, an offering tray, particularly in the north, often had six bows and eight plates of different traditional culinary delights for Tet. As time flies, the feast now sees less of traditional food and includes more modern specialties, cited VNA.

The trays also present different dishes according to regions. Northern people hardly forget to place banh chung (square glutinous rice cake), gio lua (sausage made of pork and traditionally wrapped in banana leaves), and nem ran (spring rolls) on their strays; residents of the central region prefer banh tet (round glutinous rice cake) and boiled pock; while braised meat and shrimp and meat salad are the must-have traditional food for people in the South.

In addition to these food trays, there are a five-fruit tray, incence, flower vases, candles, tea, and votive offerings, among others placed on the alters of Vietnamese families on the special eve.

Overseas Vietnamese considered ambassador bringing Vietnam to the world

Each overseas Vietnamese (OV) is an ambassador and an important bridge to bring Vietnam to the world and vice versa, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu wrote in his Lunar New Year greeting letter sent to overseas Vietnamese worldwide.

Hieu, who is also Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, wrote that he is very pleased and proud to see that the OV community are supporting the cause of their homeland’s reform and willing to shoulder the responsibilities with their compatriots at home, towards step by step realising important goals set forth by the 13th National Party Congress.

Children learn to make 'banh chung' (square glutinous rice cake), a traditional dish of Vietnamese people during the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival. Photo: VNA
Children learn to make 'banh chung' (square glutinous rice cake), a traditional dish of Vietnamese people during the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival. Photo: VNA

He highlighted that many Vietnamese intellectuals abroad have made a name for themselves, won high awards, and put Vietnam on the world intellectual map. Remittances have remained at a high level, making an important contribution to Vietnam’s socio-economic development. In addition, OVs have joined hands in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic in their home country and the defence of Vietnam's sea and island sovereignty, according to VNA.

On behalf of the ministry and the State committee, Hieu thanked the community’s valuable contributions to Vietnam in the past and expressed his sympathy toward OVs facing difficulties, particularly those in war zones or places where their legal status still needs to be further strengthened.

The official affirmed that the ministry and the State committee will continue to closely coordinate with domestic and foreign agencies to take care of and support OVs, so that they have firm legal status, integrate smoothly into the hosts’ society, and keep their bonds with the homeland.

He said he believes that the more than 5.3 million Vietnamese abroad will overcome all difficulties and challenges, unite, and join hands to build a growing community, contributing to turning Vietnam into a powerful and prosperous country in the world.

Vibrant commodity market amid increased purchasing power ahead of Tet

Shopping activities are in full swing at commercial centres and supermarkets nationwide, with a diverse, rich, and abundant range of items on offer for the Lunar New Year, known locally as Tet.

This is largely due to production and distribution businesses having fully prepared the source of goods a few months prior.

Surveys conducted at a number of large supermarkets in Hanoi such as Big C, BRG Mart, Co.op Mart, and Winmart show that essential goods for Tet have soared by 15% to 30% on average compared to the previous year.

Supermarkets always ensure strict control of the source of goods with clear origins that fully meet quality standards.

Statistics indicate that people's shopping demands have suddenly increased, with consumers mainly focusing on buying items such as green vegetables, meat, fish, and seafood. In addition, typical Tet items such as confectionery, drinks, and spring rolls have proven to be popular among many consumers, reported VOV.

With regard to the WinMart/WinMart+ system, in order to have enough goods to serve local people, the system has negotiated with major suppliers to increase the stock of Tet goods by 20% to 30%, thereby ensuring a diversified range of goods at stable prices before, during, and after Tet.

According to Nguyen Trong Tuan, director of the WinMart chain, the system has prepared the source of goods for the peak period, thereby launching promotional programmes offering attractive prices. In line with this, WinMart/WinMart+ expect both revenue and the number of customers shopping at the chain to be higher compared to the past.

Consumers prefer buying items such as green vegetables, meat, fish and seafood.
Consumers prefer buying items such as green vegetables, meat, fish and seafood.

Tran Thi Phuong Lan, acting director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, assessed that the overall quantity of goods of distribution units remains abundant and complete. In a bid to ensure the overall quality of goods, Hanoi will organise four interdisciplinary inspection teams aimed at supervising food safety.

Along with this, the municipal Steering Committee has also devised a plan aimed at conducting an inspection against smuggling and trade fraud in Hanoi to ensure that all sources of goods supplied to the Hanoi market are strictly controlled, thereby meeting the quality and safety of food.

“The issue of product quality must always come first. Goods from provinces and cities brought to Hanoi or imported goods must go through strict control stages," Lan emphasised.

In order to actively monitor the situation of supply and demand and market prices, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has directed domestic commercial enterprises to devise stockpiling plans to ensure the supply of essential goods for people at reasonable prices, she went on to say.

Le Viet Nga, deputy director of the Domestic Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said she hopes that through the efforts of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in co-ordination with provincial and municipal People's Committees, coupled with the price stabilisation scheme, consumers will be able to enjoy a warm and happy Tet.

Vietnamese tourists prefer Asian destinations for Tet 2023

Vietnamese tourists favor short-haul trips to Asian destinations during the Lunar New Year 2023 (Tet), particularly Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, according to Agoda.com.

According to Agoda data, Japan is the most sought-after destination for travelers across Asia as they usher in the Lunar New Year, followed by Malaysia and Thailand.

Agoda’s search data also reveals the top choices within the three most popular markets by volume, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Capital cities are a major draw in Japan, with Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka being the three most searched destinations.

In Malaysia, visitors are particularly eager to head to bustling cities, with Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, and Penang in the top three respectively.

Photo: Xinhua
Photo: Xinhua

In Thailand it’s Bangkok that takes top spot, followed by coastal party town Pattaya and culture-rich Chiang Mai.

Notably, most outbound Vietnamese tourists headed to Thailand in celebration of Tet (January 20-24).

Travelers from China and Japan have also sought to make reservations in Thailand during the vacation.

Meanwhile, Thai tourists are keen on visiting Japan.

Vietnam ranks eighth on Agoda’s search platform.

According to a firm’s representative, the tourism industry is pinning hopes on the reopening of popular travel destinations like South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

Coach Philippe Troussier likely to lead Vietnam national team

The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and coach Philippe Troussier have reached a preliminary agreement regarding signing a contract for the Frenchman to lead the Vietnam national team in place of departing head coach Park Hang-seo.

Previously, the 64-year-old Frenchman had led the Vietnamese U19 team in the 2020 AFC U19 Championship qualifiers.

Troussier is most known for a long spell in African football, managing the national teams of the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Africa, and Burkina Faso.

Photo: VNN
Photo: VNN

He also served as the head coach of the Japan national team between 1998 and 2000, helping the Blue Samurais to win the 2000 AFC Asian Cup before leading them in the 2002 FIFA World Cup where they made it to the last-16 as the host nation.

Troussier previously served as technical director of the Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talents Football Club (PVF).

Head coach Park Hang-seo is set to end his contract with the VFF on January 31, cited VOV.

If the VFF and coach Philippe Troussier agree to a contract, then Frenchman will be in charge of both Vietnam’s U23s and the senior team, with the aim of defending their gold medal in the men’s football at SEA Games 32 which will be held in Cambodia this May, as well as competing in the 2023 Asian Cup.

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