One of the most popular and biggest holidays in Vietnam is the Tet holiday. Tết Nguyên Đán which also means Feast of the First Morning of the First Day. This festival is similar to the Chinese Lunar New Year and typically falls on the same day as the Lunar New Year. However, unlike the Chinese New Year which is celebrated for 15 days, Tet is celebrated only for up to seven days. The Vietnamese treat this day as a day to thank the Gods for the arrival of spring which brings blooming trees and flowers as the cold winter dissipates! It is a season for families to reunite and highlights the importance of family.
During this time of the year, you can expect a big bash of lion dance performances in Hue, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)! Be entertained with the bright red lions dancing away to the sound of clashing symbols and beating drums as they perform magical trick moves before your very eyes. Be amazed by the acrobatic movements of the lion dances as they swoop around you with a bounty of energy!
During this occasion, you'll find really pretty looking lanterns being lit up as decorations on the streets and around homes. Admire the glow of the lanterns as they hang above you to sooth your inner thoughts and remind you of happiness to always see the light beyond darkness. If you'd like to bring some home as souvenirs, or even join in the fun this season here are some places you can go to, Hang Ma Street in Hanoi, Hoi An Town in the Quang Nam Province or Pu Binh in Ho Chi Minh City.
Hang Ma Street
Town in Quang Nam Province
For those of you in Hoi An Town in the Quang Nam Province, you're in for a treat as you will get to set your sights on a floating lantern ceremony along the Hoai River. Experience a magical feeling when you float around on a boat through the gleaming waters while the colours of the lanterns surround you.
As this celebration marks the beginning of Spring, you'll find beautiful flowers surrounding you. That's not all as you get to see flower shows, where buds and blooms can be seen to appear before blossoming. Buy some blossomed Peach and Apricot plants to experience the Vietnamese culture fully as Vietnamese tend to purchase them as a symbol of good fortune!
What's a special occasion without food? Sink your teeth into a Banh Chung, a kind of steamed square cake made from rich and moist glutinous rice, mung bean and succulent pork, wrapped in green leaves. Slather your taste buds with the Gio Cha, a Vietnamese sausage served with Xôi (sticky rice). You will definitely love this one as its taste is so rich from the seasoning of fish sauce on the lean meat and hours of boiling it, wrapped in leaves! Be sure you tickle your taste buds with these special dishes!
So come my fellow readers! Visit Vietnam in the Spring!