Lunar New Year - Time for Reunion

10:30:26 AM | 1/19/2023

For Vietnamese people, the Lunar New Year or Tet is not only a transitional period between the old lunar year and the new one, but also carries many spiritual and cultural meanings. This is also an opportunity for every family to get together because whenever the New Year comes, no matter what they are doing and where they are, everyone is eager to come back home to reunite with their family and together burn incense to pay tribute to their ancestors.

The lunar calendar is a moon cycle-based calendar and the moment of the new year usually comes later than the solar year. As a lunar calendar has a leap year with one extra month every three years, the first day of the Lunar New Year is never before January 21 or after February 19 of the solar calendar, usually falling between the end of January and the middle of February. The Lunar New Year holiday usually lasts 7-8 last days of the old year and 7 first days of the new year (that is to say, from the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month to the 7th day of the first lunar month).of the first lunar month).

The Lunar New Year has a profound human meaning as it is an expression of permanency in life and people's desire for the harmony of Heaven - Earth - Man. For Vietnamese people, Tet is both close and sacred. It is close because it is an annual cultural activity and linked to the human lifeline, right from birth, growth and adulthood. It is sacred because, according to Eastern beliefs, this is the moment when Heaven and Earth meet and man becomes close to God, the transitional period between the old year and the new year and between an operating cycle of Heaven, Earth, Beings and Things.

Tet is the biggest traditional festival for Vietnamese people. Children are eager to welcome Tet because this is the time they wear new costumes, enjoy sweets and receive lucky money, while adults find this a meaningful chance to strengthen cohesion in the community, the clan and the family, and to remember their roots. "Going home for Tet” is not an ordinary concept of mobility but a pilgrimage to the origin, to the place where they were born. That has become a good and sustained way of life and tradition for Vietnamese people.

On New Year's Eve, on the altar where ancestors are worshiped, incense sticks never stop burning to show gratitude of their descendants to ancestors. Especially in the Tet food tray, there are always traditional dishes such as spring rolls, pork rolls, fatty meat, onion pickles, certainly banh chung or banh tet. Banh chung expresses the culture of wet rice, wrapped in a square shape that symbolizes Earth and wrapped in a round shape that signifies Heaven. It is also an expression of filial piety offered to ancestors.

One meaning of the Lunar New Year that everyone knows is the day of the procession of fortune. It is thought that Tet comes with the God of Fortune. God knocks on the door of every family to give money and prosperity. Therefore, the entrance or gate to the house is usually decorated to welcome fortune and luck into the house. Most families often open their doors throughout the day to welcome joy, excitement, and hopes for money.

In many villages, Tet atmosphere is very clear. Roads, hamlets and villages are decorated beautifully and kept green, clean and nice-looking with roadside flowers, frescoes, slogans and a pleasant, friendly space that carries good humane messages.

In recent years, society has undergone rapid changes, especially with rapid global integration, scientific and technological development, internet and social networking that have altered people's thoughts and lifestyles. This has given the Tet atmosphere new flavors, harmoniously blended with traditional and modern values. For many families, the advent of Tet is not only an opportunity to show care to relatives and family, but also a chance to relax, play and go sightseeing.

Mr. Luis Pablo Maria Beltramino
Argentine Ambassador

In 2023, Vietnam and Argentina will celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The two governments are developing plans for commemorative activities this year including high-level leaders' visits, trade promotion programs, and advancing toward the signing of agreements still on the negotiating table. Embassies of the two countries will release publications introducing the country, culture, and people of the two countries, a famous Argentine singer will be invited to perform in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. We also plan to organize a photo exhibition on landscapes of Vietnam and Argentina. Besides, we still maintain annual activities to promote the food and culture of Argentina such as the tango show, beef day, or wine day. Those are a few highlights for next year's activities.

Last year when I went to Vietnam, the country was going through a blockade due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so I have not had much experience with your traditional Tet. In the coming New Year, I will bring my whole family and everyone is very excited to discover and enjoy a traditional Vietnamese Tet in Hanoi. I am very impressed with Vietnamese New Year's cuisine. Vietnamese rice is delicious, especially when prepared in dishes, and I look forward to enjoying traditional dishes with my family and staff working at the embassy during this Tet holiday. I would like to wish all readers of the Vietnam Business Forum a happy new year.

Mr. Antonio Alessandro
Italian Ambassador

I have lived and worked here for four years and had the opportunity to celebrate the traditional Vietnamese New Year. I think Tet is a very big festival for Vietnamese people, especially very important for those who love to eat. Among the dishes during Tet I have enjoyed, I especially like “banh chung”. I not only like the taste of “banh chung” but also the way the “banh chung” is presented. It is wrapped in banana leaves. I find it not only very beautiful but also very sustainable and friendly to the environment.

I really like Vietnamese food, in fact, I eat Vietnamese food very often. I find that traditional Vietnamese cuisine is very frugal and healthy. Tet is also an occasion for people to gather together, and family members to share delicious dishes with each other and with friends. I also find that Italian and Vietnamese cuisine both have many similarities because the two countries have rich and diverse long-standing cuisine. Both cuisines place great emphasis on the quality, freshness, and health of their products. The Vietnamese diet as well as the Italian diet does not use a lot of sugar or fat ingredients, which is very beneficial for health. I hope that, with many similarities in cuisine, Italian dishes and cuisines will also be used during Tet to add richness and variety to meals during this special holiday.

Ms. Ann Mawe
Swedish Ambassador

I started my term in September 2019 in Vietnam and we also held a big celebration here at the end of 2019 to welcome the New Year. However, because of the pandemic, we had to reduce the size of events for two years, and this year we are back with a bigger list. I am very optimistic about the future. After the pandemic, we have a lot of Swedish companies that want to come to Vietnam, our embassy always receives a lot of requests for support. Before it used to be big companies, but now also medium-sized companies and unicorns and a few other types of companies are looking for business cooperation opportunities in Vietnam, and we also hope to have more investments from both Vietnam and Sweden.

I enjoyed the New Year experiences here. I really like the "banh chung" used in your Tet, but I have to use the vegetarian version, and your traditional “ao dai” is also very elegant and charming and I love wearing it too. I also love walking around to feel the atmosphere of welcoming the New Year of the people here. And I think Tet is a beautiful tradition for family and friends to get together and spend time with their loved ones, and we do the same.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum