Meaning of New Year’s Eve in Vietnamese belief

Nga Do
Tet, the Lunar New Year festival, is the most important holiday in Vietnam.  As people believe Tet refreshes everything in their lives, they treasure the tradition of seeing off the old year and welcoming the new year. To Tuan reports:

Meaning of New Year’s Eve in Vietnamese belief 1
Photo by collect on the internet.
New Year’s Eve is considered a sacred moment. Vietnamese people are willing to forget all past problems and quarrels to start a new year. Historian Duong Trung Quoc said: “The lunar new year festival means a new beginning. The night of the last day of the lunar year is a moment of change between heaven and earth and among gods and people themselves. In the new year people are one year older, have more memories and head for the future. People consider New Year’s Eve a sign of the future.”

Half a month before Tet, people begin to clean up and refurbish their houses and furniture. Nguyen Hung Long, a retired teacher in Hanoi, said: “The tradition of welcoming the new year, I think, stemmed from the Vietnamese thinking of leaving unwanted things behind in the hope of good luck for the family in the new year.”

People often decorate their houses and go shopping before Tet holiday because they want to welcome the new year with joy and happiness. Nguyen Thi Nga of District 1, Ho Chi Minh city, said: “Just a few days before Tet we begin to clean up our house and buy an ornamental tree such as an apricot tree. We buy Tet gifts for our relatives and fruits and other food to be placed on the ancestral altar. Shopping for Tet includes buying gifts for our relatives and food for the 3 days of Tet.”

Men often assume the task of cleaning up and decorating the ancestral altar and women prepare meals on the last day of the year as a token of respect to their ancestors. Folklorist Dinh Phuong Duy said: “The worshipping of ancestors on New Year’s Eve is to report to them the family’s merits in the year. Family members then enjoy the meal blessed by their ancestors. Vietnamese people are always grateful to their ancestors and educate their children on this tradition.”

The afternoon of the last day of the year is always the most cheerful moment as family members meet for a meal together. The children tell their grandparents and parents of their work during the year and the elderly never forget to remind their children of what should be done in the coming year. Unwanted things will be set aside to welcome a new year of hope.

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