Vietnamese New Year is the most important Festival of the Vietnamese people. When Spring arrives, all Vietnamese are thrilled by the advent of Tet. Wherever they may be, they feel an immense nostalgia, wishing to come back to their homeland for a family reunion and a taste of the particular flavors of the Vietnamese festivities.
This sacred Festival occurs sometime between late January or early February, depending on Lunar Calendar. Although officially a three-day affair, festivities may continue for a week or more with every effort made to indulge in eating, drinking, and enjoyable social activities. It is also a time for family reunions, and for paying respect to ancestors and the elders. Gifts of food are made to friends, neighbors and relatives in the days before Tet.
Above all, the Tet of the New Year is a time for meeting. It is an opportunity for the household genies to meet, those who have helped during the year, namely the Craft Creator, the Land Genie and the Kitchen God. Tet is also an opportunity to invite and welcome deceased ancestors back for a family reunion with their descendants to join the family’s Tet celebrations. Finally, Tet is a good opportunity for family members to meet. This custom has become sacred and secular and, therefore, no matter where they are or whatever the circumstances, family members find ways to come back to meet their loved ones, gather for a dinner of traditional foods like bánh chung (a square cake made of sticky rice stuffed with beans and pork), mang (a soup of boiled bamboo shoots and flied pork) and xôi g?c (orange sticky rice). This is followed by a visit to the local pagodas.
by The Punjapit Alliance