Vietnam is among the few countries that celebrate the Spring Festival nationwide, and it is a traditional custom for the Vietnamese to celebrate the Spring Festival annually.
When the Vietnamese New Year Is Celebrated
Just as in China, the Vietnamese New Year is considered to be an occasion for sending out the old year and welcoming in the new year, and it normally lasts for one week (from the 30th day of the 12th month of the Chinese lunar calendar to the 6th of the 1st month).
In 2021, the Vietnamese New Year falls on February 12, Friday.
What the Vietnamese New Year Is
The Vietnamese New Year is also a holiday for family members to reunite, and during this time people from all across the country rush home for family reunions, regardless of the big traffic jams. For those who cannot go home due to various reasons, they often send messages with their best wishes to their friends and relatives.
How the Vietnamese New Year Is Traditionally Celebrated
The Vietnamese New Year is also an excellent opportunity for foreigners to fully appreciate the essence of Vietnamese culture. It is a time when flowers, glutinous rice, New Year couplets, and firecrackers are indispensable.
The Flower Fair is an important event for the Vietnamese during the Festival, where sword lilies, golden orange bonsai, chrysanthemums, and peach blossoms are exhibited along the roads.
Three ornaments are indispensable for each Vietnamese household during the Festival: a bunch of fresh flowers, a potted golden orange tree, and a plate of five kinds of fruits, which symbolize a lucky and flourishing new year.
A variety of items are also on sale in the flower markets, such as balloons, colorful lights, toys, New Year pictures and couplets, and single-page calendars.
Putting up Couplets and Pictures
It is also a tradition for the Vietnamese to put up New Year couplets and pictures during the Spring Festival. Traditional Chinese characters were employed in the couplets; however, most couplets have now been written phonetically since the alphabetization of Vietnamese.
Due to the substantial influence of the Chinese culture, most Vietnamese families also like putting up the inverted Chinese character "福" (literally meaning happiness) on the door.
Most New Year pictures are themed "Boy and Girl Attendants of Fairies" and "Mice Sending a Party Escorting the Bride", expressing the best wishes for the coming year.
Click to read the Top 3 Chinese New Year Legends/Stories.
New Year Food
Steamed glutinous rice is considered to be the most representative food for the Vietnamese during the Spring Festival, most of which is mixed with pork and green beans then wrapped in bamboo leaves.
According to Vietnamese culture, the glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves symbolizes the earth being full of vigor, while the pork and green beans symbolize birds, beasts, the grass, and trees on the earth.
Firecrackers are also let off by the Vietnamese during the Spring Festival, which lasts for days from bustling cities to remote villages.
In addition to appreciating the flower fairs, the Vietnamese also all go out to visit relatives and friends during the Spring Festival.
Shows and Other New Year Activities
Normally, the singing and dancing show is on the first day of the New Year, the water puppet show is on the second day, the acrobatic show is on the third day, the kung fu show is on the fourth day, the wrestling show is on the fifth day, and the lion dancing show is on the sixth day.
Various kinds of literary and art activities are also held.