A Survival Guide To Vietnamese Tet Holiday 2023
ABROADER Team January 17, 2023 8 minute read
Traveling around Tet, you may surprise with the specific traditions. However, a survival guide Tet will help know more about a better Vietnam
Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tet or Tet Nguyen Dan in Vietnamese) is a traditional holiday in Vietnam. Moreover, it is the country’s most extended public holiday with up to ten consecutive work-free days. Tet is the first day of spring, also known as Hội Xuân: “Spring Festival”. Furthermore, Tet generally occurs in January or February, but this year it falls on January 21st. However, if you are a foreigner in Vietnam, below is our survival guide for you during the Tet holiday
At least, you should plan whether your upcoming trip to Vietnam will coincide with this grandest event of the year. ABROADER has prepared this guide as a special early gift for people visiting Vietnam around Tet. We hope that many travelers have memorable experiences as they leave.
The Meaning Of Tet: The Signature of Vietnamese Tradition
Tet marks the first day of the Lunar New Year, and the beginning of spring in the North of Vietnam. The holiday has its origins in the Red River Delta’s early years of settlements when Tet meant a new cycle of wet rice cultivation. Today, the meaning of the holiday goes much deeper than its farming roots: Vietnamese culture emphasizes the value of a fresh start, surrounded by family and loved ones.
Though Tet shares the same origins as the Chinese New Year, Tet is a uniquely Vietnamese holiday. It makes The Lunar Year in Vietnam distinguishable from forms of the festival anywhere else. One example is the preparation and consumption of distinctive traditional meals with their own symbolic meanings.
In the Vietnamese language, to celebrate Tet is to “ăn Tết”, literally meaning “eat Tet”, showing the importance of food in the holiday. Tet foods are the most original and diverse Vietnamese foods that best represent and reflect traditional cuisine.
Use this survival guide to make Tet a wonderful holiday when visiting Vietnam!
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Vietnam is getting ready for the Lunar New Year.
The Tet holiday in Ho Chi Minh City is mostly the same as in many other cities in Vietnam. Families get together for dinner with all of the members present the day before New Year’s Eve. The Giao Thừa at midnight is the most sacred time with the passage from the old to the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, family members typically gather to celebrate with traditional food like a sticky rice cake and wait for the moment of the new year to come. Some families visit the firework display places to enjoy the joyful atmosphere with others. People buy new clothes, as they believe it will bring luck for Tet. Therefore, in the days leading up to Tet, streets, and markets are busier than usual.
Vietnamese families prepare their homes for the coming of the prosperous New Year with a thorough cleaning. Every family cleans their houses to make sure everything looks polished and new at the beginning of the new year. Vietnamese people clean out their homes before Tet in the hope of getting rid of the past year’s bad luck. Then they decorate the houses with lovely flowers, fruits, and candies to welcome guests visiting during holidays.
Travel advice in Tet Holiday if you are new to Vietnam
Lunar New Year, also known as Tết Nguyên Đán, is Vietnam’s most significant celebration. In Vietnam, families reunite and honor their ancestors during this time, while praying for luck, wealth, and health in the next year. The public holiday may only run for a week, but Tết celebrations last much longer. If you’re visiting Vietnam around Lunar New Year, here’s what you can expect from our survival guide in Tet.
The first big concern is transportation which seems to occur to most holiday travelers. The most important aspect of the Lunar New Year in Vietnam is the emphasis on long-standing traditions and family relations. For most Vietnamese, visiting their parents over the holidays is crucial. Tet, like Thanksgiving, is a time for a family reunion. As a result, you may find it hard to plan your trip when all planes and trains are fully booked. Furthermore, in the weeks before the holiday, flight and train ticket prices sharply increase, as people leave the major hubs of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang towards their hometowns.
To many’s dismay, most restaurants will be closed during Tet, be local or foreign-owned. One Vietnamese traditional proverb denotes that you can be hungry all year except for three days of the Tet festival. Since dozens of delicious dishes and desserts will be prepared to feast on the ancestors as well as family members. Thus Tet might not be the ideal time for culinary tour fans. Tet, however, is unlike any other celebration – there is a great variety of Vietnamese cuisine, including Banh Chung, boiled chicken, and pickled onions.
Like restaurants, many stores will be closed for the first few days of the Lunar new year. To your surprise, you could buy many things at reasonable prices as most sellers want the sales year off smoothly. As many shops will be closed during Tet, we suggest stocking up on supplies to last at least 1-2 days. However, you should note that many enterprises nowadays that cater to foreigners limit their businesses by closing. Some people might want to take advantage of the quiet streets around this time and keep an eye on what shops and restaurants are open. For options and information on what to do in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, you can find out more in the Top places to visit.
Unlike popular myths, hotels and hostels in Vietnam during Tet are abundant – there is no need to worry about overbooked hotel rooms. Tet holiday is not a leisurely traveling time for most domestic so you will have many choices with regard to accommodation. Some hotels will have special nights or New Year celebrations so check with them in advance to be part of the fun. However, most lodging services will raise the price if you stay over the Tet holiday, referring it to the “hot season” occasion. Check before you book!
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Unexpectedly, many museums and indoor exhibition spaces will be closed for at least four days over the Tet holiday. However, you may take advantage of both of these developments by planning your itinerary accordingly to visit the museums and such just before or after Tet. During Tet, beaches and cities will be less crowded (on the actual date of Tet) – overall, a great experience for individuals who enjoy peace and quiet.
Tet festival is an important celebration in Vietnam. Therefore, Vietnamese people will give each other their best wishes for a lucky and successful Lunar New Year. If you’re going to be around for Tết, join the festivities by wishing other people a Happy New Year in Vietnamese.
Come on, try saying these new year greetings to your beloved!
- Chuc Mung Nam Noi: Happy Vietnam Lunar New Year
- An Khang Thinh Vuong: Wish you are always safe and sound, wealthy, and prosperous.
- Van Su Nhu Y: All your wishes will come true.
On the last day of the year, every member from different generations gathers around a spectacular dinner to enjoy the last meal. At that time, the talk is about things already happening in this year. The ambiance of the reunion is always the most wonderful and happiest of all.
To talk about Tet Holiday, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year is priceless worth in Vietnam and an integral part of the life of all Vietnamese people. Hope that our survival guide for Tet holiday in Vietnam will help you enjoy the most this special event of the year.
Tet is coming, soon.