Vietnam culture is a part of rice agriculture civilizations. according to the needs of agricultural cultivation, the time of the year is divided into 24 different part called “Tiet” (Jie in Chinese). For each item there is a moment of transition, in which the most important is the start of an cultivation cycle. Therefore, people choose that time is the starting point for a new year, it is Lunar New Year.
The meaning of Tet holiday:
Vietnamese people celebrate the New Year with a sacred trust: Lunar New Year is the days of reunion, hope, and luck. Tet holiday is the reunion of all the family because this is the expectation that all members of the family, who went far from home are looking forward to gathering with their family. After a year of working, Tet holiday is the time for people visit their relatives and friends. Not just stop with the meaning for those who are living, new year is also a time to the lost souls back to family with their offspring to celebrate Tet holiday. On the last day of the year, all the families hold the ceremony to invite ancestors come back home and enjoy the holiday. It shows the tradition of Vietnamese people :“When you eat a fruit, think of the man who planted the tree”. Tet holiday is the day of hope, because on that day, all people pray and wish for a year of good weather, bumper harvests. The Tet holiday also the day of luck because all people think that what happen in the Tet holiday has a special connection to all the things of the year. Therefore, on Tet holiday, people always do good things, say the good sentences especially is the wishes of good health, good luck and wealthy.
The customs of Tet holiday in Vietnam:
Vietnamese people have many customs on Tet holiday, underneath is three of the customs on this traditional holiday.
In Vietnamese conception, Tet is the second birthday of each people in the year. Therefore the word of mouth on Tet holiday is “best wish for the new age”. On Tet holiday, the adult gives lucky money for children as a wish for a new age of docility, study well. They also give the lucky money for the elder to wish for a long life and good health.
Tet holiday is the time to decorate the house. The most important part of the house - the altar, is decorated by fruit tray, flower and cakes. Vietnamese people has the custom of decorating the house by peach blossom flower, apricot flower and kumquat on Tet holiday. They are symbolize for luck and prosper.
An indispensable thing in Tet holiday is Chung cake – a traditional cake of Vietnam. Chung cake has the square shape with the green symbolize for the earth as the traditional conception of Vietnamese people. The Chung cake is made from sticky rice, green bean, pork, onion that covered by phrynium leave – all the materials are the products from the harvest. The cakes are boiled about ten to twelve hours. A Chung cake that still keep the green color after boiling and the soft, limber sticky rice inside is evaluated as a good cake. The invitation of the homeowner to the guests on Tet holiday is “ stay and enjoy the Chung cake”.
Tet holiday present for beautiful cultural tradition of the country. Vietnamese people must preserve and protect this beauty as a important culture value.