As we approach Christmas and the New Year here in Australia, we will reflect back on the year that has gone, to remember the events that have occurred and the friendships that have been made. However, it is also a time at CNCF to direct our attention to Vietnam and Mongolia and their own celebrations…
Tet Nguyen Dan, also known as Tet (or The Vietnamese New Year), which occurs in late January, is one of the most important celebrations for the Vietnamese people. It is a time to express respect and remembrance for ancestors, while also welcoming the New Year with beloved family members.
In most cases, Tet is celebrated by cleaning the home to get rid of bad luck, having large meals, and spending time with family. New clothes and shoes are bought for children to wear on the first few days, and they are given ‘lucky money’ in red envelopes in order to create a good start to the New Year. Gifts are also exchanged between family and friends.
To decorate the home, most families will choose a Tet tree, or tac, which is a cone shaped fruit tree with miniature oranges that are usually just ripening. It is believed that the more fruit on the tree, the luckier the family. Greeting cards and good luck symbols are usually hung from the Tet trees, while the colours red and yellow are seen a lot during this time of year as it is believed to bring good fortune. Flower buds and blossoms are also used as they are the symbols for new beginnings.
In 2014, Tet will be celebrated from 31st January to 4th February, and this will mark the beginning of the year of the Horse for the Vietnamese people. We look forward to bringing you photos and stories from Vietnam as the celebrations happen.