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39 thoughts on “Tết: How to celebrate the Vietnamese New Year”

    1. Many thanks! This year, I won’t celebrate New Year with my family, as I am stuck here with my thesis. But I will meet up with friends on the second and third day, so it won’t be so bad 🙂

      1. Great! May be you should write a post about Chinese New Year in Sydney 🙂 Do you allow to light up firework or firecracker during Lunar New Year?

      2. That would be an awesome idea! Except I was still working at 9pm on NYE and haven’t been out to take photos!! 😩 No fireworks allowed here…

  1. Woow! That was a very interesting post!!
    Didn’t know anything about Vietnamese culture, now I do!
    Thank you very much for sharing this!

    1. You welcome! I am glad that you like it. It is slightly pity that many people only know about Vietnam through the war or some delicious dishes 🙂 Our culture is actually centuries-old.

  2. New Zealand and Australia has crossed over to the year of the Rooster.
    Soon we will too! And in about 6 hours you will also!
    Happy New year

  3. Such an interesting post! I love learning about cultural specifics, especially how Lunar New Year is celebrated here versus in places like Korea. We celebrated “Seollal” here and the traditions are fun to participate in. I’ll likely write something up on it after my current series.

    I have a question about the lucky money though — why is it specifically placed in red envelopes? Is there something symbolic about the color red in Vietnamese culture, or does it stem from an earlier practice?

    Also, this traditional dress looks so stylish in Vietnam! Do people like wearing it? I think it would be fun to wear something so modern, fitting, and colorful! Do most people have a set or is this growing out of fashion?

    1. Well, our culture is strongly influenced by Chinese culture. So similar to Chinese people, we perceive red as a lucky color. The color of happiness and prosperity. That’s why the lucky money is given in a red envelope 🙂
      Regarding áo dài, it has never been out of trend. Most women have at least one set of it. In fact, áo dài is uniform for school girls and students at some universities. For men, áo dài was not so popular, but recently it is making a come back , especially in special occasion like Tết. I guess most people like wearing it, it is a part of our culture after all 🙂 Overall, I feel ok wearing it, but defitively not in summer. Too warm 😉

      1. Koreans often wear traditional clothing during special holidays like Chuseok or Seollal or even their weddings, and many complain to me that they find it uncomfortable as well.

        In regards to the color, the reason I asked is because I went to a “color exhibition” at a museum the other day, and it talked about red’s significance to Korean culture, moving between positive associations to negative ones. These days it represents “social cohesion.”

        Red is my favorite color, so I’m just curious! 🙂

      2. Red – Fire Element – is also my lucky color, although I don’t often wear it (difficult to combine with other stuff) 🙂 I read a book about colors. It is said that the red color was highly valued not only in Korea, but also in the West as well. In Korea, only the King and high ranking court members (or aristocrats) wore red. In the West, only Emperor, aristocrats, judges, or cardinal wore red. The explanation is that the red colors was very difficult to obtain.
        Chinese and Vietnamese Emperor had another taste 🙂 They prefer the color of gold more than the red color.

      3. Right! I saw the same in Malaysia, where Gold Yellow is the color of the King. So interesting! And in other places, Purple represents royalty. I love culture.

  4. Hello, for the little girls collarless ao dai, where can I get one just like the one you posted? Thank you in advance.


    1. Hi Lc, you can get the áo dài for kids in almost any big market in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. For example, the Ben Thanh or Tan Dinh Market in Ho Chi Minh city will surely have it. But for an exactly looking áo dài with same pattern and color, I guess I could not tell 🙂 I hope this information could help.

  5. I enjoyed your post. I visited Vietnam in early March and really fell in love with the country. Your post gave me some needed insight.

      1. I intended to ask where you have been but found out that you did a cycling trip along the coast. So why DaLat? Is there anything particular in DaLat that you like? The coffee maybe :)?
        My German friends always ask me to bring some coffee (together with some condense milk) for them when I travel to Vietnam.
        A cycling trip to Cambodia is a good idea, especially when exploring the Angkor Archaeological Site. But the streets might not in good condition, so you should take that into consideration.

      2. What I liked about Dalat was: the temperature (cool), the coffee, the vibe that the city had–kind of like a backpacker area that was more relaxed and also let other people in. It was very cosmopolitan (in its own way) as well.
        We will see about the Cambodia trip. I’ve to take care of a couple of other things first.

  6. Really interesting post and lovely pics. Happy New Year! My husband and I visited Vietnam 3 years ago and really enjoyed it, especially Hoi An 😃🐻

    1. Many thanks! I am glad that you like the post. Although it is not my hometown, but I like Hoi An as well 🙂 It has a special charm that other towns in Vietnam do not have. But it is also not so dull like nearby Hue – the Imperial City.

  7. Sounds like a really great festivity! Happy Tet to you and your family. Wishing you a year of abundance, filled with happiness (and more travels).

    1. You welcome 🙂 Most people have heard of Chinese New Year, but not many know that Vietnamese (and I think Koreans) also celebrate this holiday. But the year of the Rat didn’t start so well, though >.<

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