Vietnamese New Year customs

Wishing New Year’s greetings and giving away red envelopes

The first day of the new year is reserved for visiting family and relatives and wishing each other.

According to the customs, everyone both younger and older people go up with ages when the New Year comes. So, younger people say a greeting to their grandparents, parents and older people on the first day of Tet; older people give away sealed red envelopes (filled with lucky money) to younger people. According to old customs, lucky money should be the change means that they would be developed more. The custom is called Li Xi.

During Tet, the relatives and friends go to visit and wish New Year’s greetings to each other; then put the offerings to ancestral altar. Nowadays, the custom is less popular because of limit of time and distance. Instead, they send each other the greeting cards “Happy New Year”.

The departure and picking buds of the New Year

Vietnamese people have the custom of departure for finding luck on New Year’s Day. Before departing, they have to choose the date, time and good direction carefully so that they can meet the God of Wealth, God of Happiness…

Normally, they depart following the good directions to go to pagoda, temple or go to visit grandparents, relatives and friends. For old farmer, departure of the New Year is to forecast the weather. On New Year’s Day, when the sun rises, they depart to know the way of the wind’s blowing then they can forecast how new year is, lucky or not.

For pagoda or temple visit, after performing a ritual offering to the God, Vietnamese people have the custom of picking buds for luck. It is called “hai loc”.

Bud is a small branch of banyan tree, cactus… which are in bud and fresh all year around. Picking buds in the pagoda, temple means that they can receive the best in new year. The picked bud is put in ancestral altar of each family.

These are extracted from 100 things should be known about Vietnamese customs.

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