Tet, short for Tet Nguyen Dan, is the Vietnamese New Year celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Vietnamese calendar, which usually falls in January or February, and this year, it takes place on January 22. Tet is the most important festival for the Vietnamese people. It is celebrated in a big way, with the celebrations spread across several days. It is a celebration where people visit their families and ancestors, spend time with their friends, and honor their teachers. The main focus of the festival is to celebrate the New Year and forget all about the troubles of the previous year.
History of Tet Holiday
Tet Nguyen Dan is also known as the Spring Festival, Lunar New Year, or Vietnamese Lunar New Year. The Tet Holiday is incredibly important in Vietnamese culture, and people make sure that they can celebrate with their loved ones.
The celebration welcomes not only the New Year but also the arrival of Spring. No one festival is as important as the Tet holiday — only the Children’s Holiday comes close. People prepare for this day by traveling to their families, cleaning their homes, and preparing an enormous amount of food.
A lot of customs related to luck are practiced during these days, to make sure the New Year is better than the previous year. Children and elders are given lucky money, and people might start new businesses at this time.
An important part of the Tet celebrations is ancestor worship, where people pray to their ancestors and visit the graves of departed ancestors to clean them as a show of respect.
There are three main parts of the Tet Holiday: There’s Tat Nien, which is two days before Tet and reserved for the immediate family; Giao Thua, which is New Year’s Eve and for friends; and finally Tan Nien, which is the New Year’s Day, the celebrations that happen on the day, and the days after.
An important part of Tet is the food because to celebrate Tet in the Vietnamese language is said as ‘to eat Tet.’ A wide range of traditional foods are prepared — some are foods eaten regularly, and others are unique to the day.
Tet Holiday timeline
Contrary to popular belief, Vietnam celebrates Tet long before the Chinese come.
As a major campaign in the 20-year Vietnam War, the Tet Offensive is launched during the festival.
Fireworks, though an important part of the celebrations, are prohibited for the first time for national reasons.
Considering the challenges posed by COVID-19, the year's celebrations are held virtually.
Tet Holiday FAQs
How long does Tet Holiday last?
The celebrations for Tet last three days.
How do you say Happy Tet?
The traditional greeting for Tet is ‘Chuc Mung Nam Moi,’ which means ‘Happy New Year.’
Will Vietnamese shops be closed during Tet?
Some shops might be closed; typically, shops are closed on the first few days of the New Year and will be open for the celebrations leading up to Tet.
How to Observe Tet Holiday
Visit a local celebration
Vietnamese centers across the country host celebrations with fantastic food, fireworks, and games. So head over to one and have some fun!
Eat some Tet
Food is a vital part of the celebrations. So eating traditional celebration food such as Banh Chung (sticky rice with fillings) or Keo dua (coconut candy) is the best way to celebrate!
Play some games
A lot of traditional games are played on Tet Holiday, especially ones that show off how smart or strong you are. Go ahead and play some games with your Vietnamese friends.
5 Interesting Facts About Tet Holiday That You Probably Didn’t Know
Sweeping during Tet is bad luck
People don’t want to sweep any good luck away, so they clean their house well before the celebrations start.
The first visitor is important
Vietnamese people believe that the first visitor they receive on New Year’s Day determines the kind of luck the family would have for the rest of the year.
Even children play gambling games
These traditional games such as bau cua ca cop are played on the streets and are all in good fun.
Some families host private dragon dances
Only the wealthiest families can afford private performances, but there are a lot of public performances for everyone to enjoy.
Every family has a New Year Tree
The New Year tree is an important part of the decorations and is made of a bamboo pole decorated with good luck charms, origami fish, and cactus branches.
Why Tet Holiday is Important
We want a lucky New Year
The Tet Holiday is a fantastic way to invite good luck for the coming year and forget all the bad luck of the previous year. We love this!
We love to eat Tet
There’s no food like the food at a Tet feast, and we want to eat rice, sides, and sweets till we’re comatose! Isn’t this reason enough to celebrate?
Tet is important to the Vietnamese people
We want to help celebrate Vietnamese culture and heritage, and celebrating Tet is one of the best ways to do it. Join in this year!
Tet Holiday dates