For many of us young Vietnamese, Tet has always been a very important event for our families, our culture and our people.
However, we often do not understand certain things that the elders of the family usually say and do during the three important days of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.
Like many young Vietnamese living overseas, I have also gone through years of wondering and struggling to find the real stories and reasons behind every activity and behavior Vietnamese people do for Tet.
You may not agree with some of the beliefs and traditions I will list below, but reading this list will save you a lot of trouble and hopefully help you start appreciating the beauty of our Vietnamese culture and traditions.
First of all, how do you say Happy New Year in Vietnamese?
“Chuc Mung Nam Moi”, said with a big smile on his face to everyone he met.
Top 10 Things To Do During Vietnamese New Year
1. Say “Happy New Year” in any language you can speak when you see Vietnamese or Asian.In Vietnamese, it is “Chuc Mung Nam Moi” with a big smile!
2. Sending red envelopes (Li Xi), although in the past, only married people could do this task in the new year, because it is believed that married people are more successful than single people. Today, however, gifting a Lee Hee is an act of generosity and wishing the recipient good luck throughout the year. Who doesn’t love getting money from those red envelopes? Because I want to!
3. Smile, laugh often, and be energized. Just don’t smile and laugh excessively because people might mistake you for someone fresh out of a mental hospital or a drug addict. Still, seeing a smile on someone’s face can brighten anyone’s mood on any given day, so be sure to do it!
4. Offer someone something sweet, such as candy or a “mut Tet.” It is believed that sweet things will bring sweetness to the year.
5. If the elderly have lost all their teeth or are diabetic, offer them a cup of hot tea. A warm cup of tea is believed to bring happiness, warmth and a sweet taste. Vietnamese families usually get together to drink tea during Tet. Tea may not be warm, but family affection must be warm.
6. Visit all your relatives. This is your golden excuse to visit your relatives and meet them. It was my golden excuse to meet up with other crowded family members to make sure that cute chick I was dating didn’t happen to be my fifth cousin. (J/K!)
7. Give anything to do with the numbers 6 or 8. This is because our culture is linked to certain aspects of Chinese culture. “6” in Cantonese is pronounced similarly to “Loc” in Vietnamese, meaning “lucky”. The number “8” in Cantonese is pronounced similarly to “Phat” in Vietnamese, which means prosperity. I personally don’t believe in any of this, but I’ll do anything to make people happy. So, $6 or $8 would be better for Li Xi than $10. In the end, I saved $2 to $4 per lexie and still made everyone else happy. Nice trick huh?
8. Send anything red, such as watermelon, lixie, dried fruit in a red box (mut Tet), etc. Red is associated with luck and high ranking in Asian cultures, especially those countries heavily influenced by Chinese culture. Also, red brings a feeling of warmth or a fiery feeling. In short, red brings auspiciousness and warmth to the family.
9. Wear new, brightly colored, nice, light-colored clothes. Put those wrinkled and smelly clothes in the washing machine!
10. The following fruit packs are available: custard apple, coconut, papaya and mango. In Vietnamese, these fruits are: Mang Cau, Dua, Du Du, Xo In the southern Vietnamese accent, these fruits will be pronounced “Cau Dua Du Xai”, which means “May you have enough money to spend”.
However, if you read item 4 in the list of 10 don’ts below, you’ll see that people usually remove custard from the packaging because it’s hard to find during Tet (Vietnamese New Year) and thinking 4 is bad something. number. You’ll often see packages containing only coconut, papaya, and mango, which is a combination of “Dua Du Xai,” a truncated version that means “enough money to spend.”
Ten things not to do during Vietnamese New Year
1. Don’t show up at someone’s home on the first day unless the owner invites you first. Otherwise, go the next day or later. It is believed that the first person who appears in their home brings all the characteristics of that person to the family. If one is a successful person, the family will be successful. If this person was unlucky last year, the whole family will be unlucky this year.
So you’d better stay home until someone invites you over. This is their signal to tell you that either someone has entered their house this year, or they personally like your traits to bring you over and bring them good luck. Believe it or not, I don’t think all of this luck is real, but I suggest you take this advice to avoid unwarranted accusations.
2. Don’t wear dark colors or only black and white. Dark, black and white clothing is believed to be associated with death and funerals. By the way, well dressed and lively – Chinese New Year!
3. Do not swear, swear, trash talk or argue. These are already bad for any time of the year, not just New Years…
4. Do not give gifts with unlucky symbols. For example: anything that contains squid or duck and the numbers 4 and 7.
Squid produces a black liquid and is considered dirty and harmful, although the squid itself tastes super good! Ducks are considered dumb, and their meat is dark (at least darker than chicken).
The number 4 is pronounced “Tu” in the ancient Vietnamese system, which sounds a lot like “Tu”, and means “death” or “death” in the ancient Vietnamese language that is heavily influenced by Chinese. Most people mistakenly believe that the number 7 is a lucky number. However, in Old Vietnamese, 7 is pronounced “That”, which has the same spelling and pronunciation as the word “Lost” or “Missing” in Old Vietnamese. So in Vietnamese, the number 7 is actually pretty bad! Not as lucky as you think.
Oh yes, if you are in Vietnam, don’t eat or give dog meat during Vietnamese New Year. I will tell you why myself.
5. Do not talk about negative subjects such as accidents, deaths or funerals. Who likes to talk about these things anyway?
6. Do not ask others to repay your debts or loans. Wait until the next 2-3 weeks. It is believed that if money has to be paid back or borrowed at the beginning of the year, money must be borrowed and paid back the rest of the year. Best time of year to escape debt, isn’t it?
7. Don’t ask for “Lee Hee” if you don’t get it. This is considered to be equivalent to requiring the person to pay a debt. Personally, I think it has more to do with manners and manners.
8. If there are immediate family members holding funerals in the past three years, do not visit anyone’s house in the first three days of the lunar calendar. The Vietnamese believe that those who die in the family do not go to hell for the first three years after death.
Their spirits follow the family members for three years until they get tired or witness the family members have moved on from the fact of death. People don’t want ghosts to enter their houses during the New Year because gods, goddesses and Buddhas hold gatherings during this time and pay less attention to protecting the owner’s house from ghosts.
So, sit at home with your beloved soul; if people are considerate, they will come to your house to share your sorrow. You don’t want to take any stupid blame if a family is bleeding for something that has absolutely nothing to do with you.
9. Do not take or ask to be taken out of someone’s house with items related to fire, such as: lighters, matches, coal, fire fluid, gas, etc. Fire was considered a source of warmth, longing for the home. couple in love. It is believed that problems within the family arise from the family where the fire is taken away. If the firefighters’ fire station happens to be in an Asian community, they should have 3 days off during Chinese New Year.
10. Do not take or ask to take water-related items out of someone’s home, such as: bottled water, water containers, drinking fountains, drinking glasses, glasses, etc. People usually wish each other “Tai Loc Nhu Nuoc” or “money and success like water”.
So taking water from someone’s house is equivalent to taking away their wealth. If you’re thirsty, drink the water in the house, don’t take the bottle home, or you’ll see the host come to your house angrily to get their water bottle back.