Tet Eve, or Vietnamese Lunar New Year, is an annual celebration occurring on the first night of the new moon in the Lunar calendar’s first month. This year, it takes place on February 10. It brings families from all over the nation together to welcome a new year. Throughout the five-day holiday, the country promotes parades, festivals, and other festivities. This is a time for families to say goodbye to their bad luck from the previous year and hope for better opportunities in the upcoming one.
History of Tet Eve
‘Tet,’ which originates from a Vietnamese phrase meaning “Festival of the First Morning of the First Day,” is considered the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. This festival celebrates the new lunar year and usually happens around the same time as Chinese New Year. Each year has a representative animal: rat, buffalo, tiger, cat, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, or pig. Most Vietnamese people already live with their families — it’s a cultural tradition in Vietnam to remain in a household with two to three generations of a family — but those who don’t travel back to visit and celebrate with them.
Before Tet, families do a deep clean of their houses to wash away all the previous year’s bad luck and ills. Then, they decorate with various flowers — usually peach or apricot blossoms — to symbolize good luck for the upcoming year. It’s considered unlucky to clean or sweep during Tet because it represents sweeping away any oncoming good. On the festival’s first day, children usually receive a red envelope filled with money after greeting their elders in a special manner.
Out in the town, the celebrations run wild! There are parades featuring firecrackers, drums, gongs, and anything that makes lots of noise to drive the bad spirits away. They also feature lion dancing, where masked dancers sing and dance under a giant lion and dragon hybrid representing strength. After the celebrations, families gather in their homes for a special supper with the tastiest Vietnamese cuisine.
Tet Eve timeline
Vietnam declares independence from France.
The North Vietnamese People’s Army of Vietnam performs significant advances during the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War, which began in 1955, ends.
This year is deemed the Year of the Rat following the zodiac cycle.
Tet Eve FAQs
What happens during Tet Eve in Vietnam?
Vietnam’s New Year celebration features food, music, and even a dancing dragon!
Is Tet the same as Chinese New Year?
They aren’t the same event but are often celebrated on the same day. Sometimes, they might be observed on different days because of the time difference.
Do the Vietnamese celebrate Christmas?
They do! It’s not a national holiday, but many the Vietnamese celebrate the holiday!
Tet Eve Activities
Get your house ready
Make sure your house is nice and clean before celebrating Tet. This ensures all the past year’s bad luck and curses wash away to make room for a fresh new year!
Attend a parade
During Tet, there are plenty of parades that you can attend across Vietnam. Just don’t forget to bring your firecrackers!
Decorate your house
After washing away the bad from the previous year, why not decorate your house to invite good luck? The best way to decorate is by filling every space with beautiful flowers. We recommend peach blossoms!
5 Interesting Facts About Vietnam
It’s the leading exporter of cashews
Vietnam is the world’s top exporter of cashew nuts.
Motorcycles are very popular
There are 60 million motorcycles in Vietnam.
The country looks like an ‘s’ on a map.
It’s a cultural melting pot
Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups.
Tube houses are common
Vietnamese houses have many floors to accommodate multiple generations of a family in a single household.
Why We Love Tet Eve
It’s about renovation
The new year represents new beginnings and rejuvenation. This holiday is significant because it reminds us to keep growing and setting new goals for ourselves!
It unites the community
Everyone in Vietnam gathers to celebrate this important holiday. There’s no better way to bring the community together!
It’s all about peace
During Tet celebrations, we usually wish for peace in our upcoming journeys. It’s important to keep the conversation about tranquility alive!
Tet Eve dates