The Lunar New Year Festival (Tet) provides a wonderful opportunity for foreigners living, working, or touring during this time of year to learn more about Vietnam. Foreigners in Hanoi's historic Old Quarter were happy to share their thoughts and impressions of the beloved holiday with VNT reporters.
Hanoi's Old Quarter is bustling with activity as residents flock to local stores to prepare for the most important traditional celebration in Vietnam - the Lunar New Year.
A Tet market, which opens only once a year for the Lunar New Year holiday, runs along Hang Luoc, Hang Khoai, Hang Ruoi, and Hang Ma streets in the historic Old Quarter, offering thousands of decorations, ornamental plants, and bouquets.
With a week until Tet, the Lunar New Year, foreigners are hitting the streets to shop for the festival, and it appears that all roads go to Hang Ma Street in the Old Quarter.
Clara and Antonia, German students who visited Vietnam for the first time, said they truly loved the Tet season, especially with its colorful decorations and exquisitely tasty food.
Clara also enjoys the thrill and bustling atmosphere of Hanoi, which appears to become even more lively and alive in the lead-up to Tet.
“We really like Vietnam. We saw a lot of different things here and a great mix of culture and landscape,” said Clara.
Antonia noted with specificity the similarities and differences of the cultural activities for the Tet holiday between Germany and Vietnam.
“New Year in Germany brings parties and lasts for about one week. In Vietnam, the Tet holiday seems to be celebrated bigger and longer,” said Antonia.
Clara and Antonia (Germany) show their interest in peach blossoms.
Clara and Antonia also showed their interest in peach blossoms, the must-have ornamental plant in almost every Vietnamese home during Tet. This is the first time they have seen peach blossoms. The pink buds blossoming despite the cold winter winds remind them of spring coming alive once more.
Peach blossoms are a must-have home decoration for Tet in northern Vietnam. During Tet, peach blossom branches, plants, and trees of all sizes are purchased or rented, ranging in price from a few dozen thousand dong to many millions.
More and more tourists are choosing Vietnam as an ideal destination for the Lunar New Year Festival since it provides a unique opportunity to learn more about the country's rich customs and traditions.
Victor and Obi (Nigeria) buy various decorations.
Victor and Obi from Nigeria are amazed by the color 'red,' which appears on almost every corner of Hang Ma Street.
“This is our first time in Vietnam. Luckily, we arrived in the country just in time for the New Year. It is completely different from my hometown. The color red, which symbolizes good luck and happiness, covers the entire country.”
In Vietnam, red is considered a symbol of luck and prosperity, and it appears on the majority of ornamental products and offerings. Individuals, families, and enterprises all seek divine blessings for success and pleasure.
Tet is also an opportunity for the two Nigerians to learn about traditions. They were surprised to hear that Vietnamese people use two calendars, including the lunar calendar.
Despite being unfamiliar with Vietnamese traditional practices during the Tet festival, many expatriates have begun to enjoy it with the support of friendly locals.
“It's a special and magical time and should not be missed if you’re planning a trip to Vietnam,” Victor suggested.
"Happy New Year, Vietnam!" Obi excited. "I wish you all the best of luck and may the upcoming Year bring peace and prosperity to all."
A British family wanders around Phung Hung Mural Street.
Tet is a time for Vietnamese people to gather and enjoy the early spring after a long year of hard work. Meanwhile, for many foreigners, Tet presents itself as a wonderful photo opportunity, with many captivating scenes involving warm colors, scented flowers, and happy families. This intimate time allows foreigners to catch a glimpse of Vietnam's ancient traditions and cheerful hospitality.
More and more foreigners are looking for a taste of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. The foreign community living, working, or traveling in Vietnam has gradually adapted to the Tet atmosphere, from shopping and preparing for Tet to trying Vietnamese traditional dishes. During this happy season, Tet shows global citizens the warm and happy hearts that live throughout Vietnam.
Thu Phuong - Phuong Linh