Vietnamese New Year (Tet):
Tet Nguyen Dan, or Tet for short, is considered the biggest and most popular festival of the year in Vietnam. Celebrated on the first day of the first month in Lunar Calendar, Tet’s celebration is the longest holiday which may last up to seven days (with the exception of Tet 2012 when the holiday is expected to last for 9 days!). Vietnamese New Year in 2013 will last from February 10-13, and in 2014 from January 31st to Feb 4th.
How Tet is calculated !?
Different from the Gregorian calendar, Lunar Calendar has a fix number of twelve months with 30 days each, and a leap-year will have a whole intercalary month instead of the 29th day of February. The new year of Lunar Calendar normally will start in late January or beginning of February according to Gregorian calendar. That explains why Tet days vary from year to year: it is because the leap month may fall shorter or longer which create a smaller or bigger gap between the two calendars.
When is Tet !?
* In 2011, Tet day falls on February 3rd
* In 2012, Tet day falls on January 23rd
* In 2013, Tet is on February 10th
* In 2014, Tet is on January 31st
* In 2015, Tet is on February 19th
The actual holiday will last 1 day before and about 3-5 days after the day mentioned above.
How is Tet celebrated !?
Since Tet occupies an important role in Vietnamese’s religious beliefs, Vietnamese will begin their preparations well in advance of the upcoming New Year. In an effort to get rid of the bad luck of the old year, people will spend a few days cleaning their homes, polishing every utensil, or even repaint and decorate the house with kumquat tree, branches of peach blossom, and many other colorful flowers. The ancestral altar is especially taken care of, with careful decoration of five kinds of fruits and votive papers, along with many religious rituals. Everybody, especially children, buy new clothes and shoes to wear on the first days of New Year. People also try to pay all their pending debts and resolve all the arguments among colleagues, friends or members of family.
Like other Asian countries, Vietnamese believe that, if good things come to the family on the first day of the lunar New Year, the entire following year will also be full of blessings. Therefore, the first visitor of family is very important. If that is a good, success, well-educated person, then the family believes that they will receive luck and good fortune throughout the year. People always wish the most propitious things for all relatives and friends in the New Year.
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