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Vietnamese Tet 2015 to Fete Year of the Goat

Tet Festival 2015  – Lunar New Year

The Vietnamese New Year, more known as Tet (short for Tet Nguyen Dan), is the most important and most celebrated festival in Vietnam.

The term Tet is a phonetic anamorphosis of “Tiet” which is a Sino-Vietnamese word meaning “joint of a bamboo stern.” But in a deeper and more meaningful way, the term signifies the “beginning of a period of the year.”

Celebrated at the same time with the Chinese New Year, Tet occurs sometime between late January or early February, depending on the Lunar Calendar.

Vietnamese New Year and Chinese New Year are generally held on the same day, but on alternate times because of the one-hour time difference between Hanoi and Beijing. Lunar New Year is practiced all over East Asia, but the rituals vary depending on the indigenous characteristics, cultural history and even geographical climate of each country.

Considered to be a combination of the Western Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and even Halloween and birthday occasions, Tet is no doubt the most important celebration of the Vietnamese culture.

Although officially a three-day celebration, festivities can stretch for a week or even more. During this time, customary practices of the Vietnamese are most visible and appreciated. If there’s one thing that best represents Vietnamese cultural identity, it is this one special celebration – the Vietnamese Tet.


Tet in 2015: Year of the Goat

This year, on the Year of the Goat, Tet is celebrated between February 19-21. But the celebration stretches beyond the 21st. For the Vietnamese, goat symbolizes good fortune and luck. For the past weeks, many have been purchasing bank notes containing images of goats, goat-shaped souvenirs and decorations, all in preparation to welcome Tet. According to Eastern belief, the Goat year of 2015 will bring about tranquility and cooperation, something most Vietnamese very much look forward to.
The main celebration days for this year’s Tet include the following:

February 18 – Tết New Year’s Eve

February 19 – The First of Tết Nguyen Đán

February 20 – The Second of Tết Nguyen Đán

February 21 – The Third of Tết Nguyen Đán

February 22 – The Fourth of Tết Nguyen Đán

February 23 – The Fifth of Tết Nguyen Đán


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Tet and Vietnamese Families

The country’s general atmosphere is characterized by positivity. The streets are filled with colors while people are busy shopping for gifts and decorations. Food is everywhere. Families cook traditional cakes to put in the altar and to bring to friends as gifts.

Pilgrims and family reunions are common during these time. Family members who have been away make an effort to return and celebrate the event with their family. Because for the Vietnamese, Tet is both an occasion and opportunity of renewal and rejuvenation, as everything that transpires during the three days of Tet will greatly influence the succeeding twelve months.

With how much meaning Tet holds to the lives of every Vietnamese, it is an opportune time for everyone to take steps in correcting their mistakes, patch up differences, pay off their debts, reorganize their belongings and avoid committing wrong deeds. Paying homage to the ancestors is among the most important activities during the season.

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