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The Most Important Festival In Vietnam

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Tet, whose full name is Tet Nguyen Dan, is celebrated to mark the advent of spring according to the Lunar Calendar. According to the traditional custom, in each region of the country, the activities of welcoming the Lunar New Year may be different. Thanks to that, creating a variety of rituals as well as fun activities in the early spring days.

Tet is the most important and widely celebrated public festival of the year in Vietnam

Tet is the most important and widely celebrated public festival of the year in Vietnam (Photo: Internet)


Northern Vietnam

Talking about Tet in the North is talking about peach blossom, the flower of spring. Not only the type of flower on Tet holiday but according to Vietnamese legend, peach blossoms also help to ward off evil and unlucky things in the new year. Simultaneously, the red rose color symbolizes warmth, luck, and prosperity in the new year.

Peach blossoms are the most recognizable image of spring in the North

Peach blossoms are the most recognizable image of spring in the North (Photo: Internet)

According to traditional custom,  on New Year's Day, the ancestral altar must have the presence of a five-fruit tray. In the North, the five-fruit tray is decorated according to the five-element principle, symbolizing prosperity and abundance.

The tray of five fruits of the North includes banana, pomelo, peach, persimmon, and mandarin. Due to the shape and color of each fruit,  the fruit tray has good meaning.

– Banana symbolizes the reunion.

– Pomelo symbolizes security- good health and prosperity;

– Peach symbolizes hope in the future.

– Persimmon symbolizes richness.

– Mandarin symbolizes success.

Fat meat, pickled onions, red parallel sentences

New Year pole, strings of firecrackers, green banh chung

Since the price named Lang Lieu made offerings of banh chung and banh day to the sixth Hung King to celebrate the new year, banh chung has become an indispensable dish during Tet in the North.

Banh chung is made from delicious glutinous rice, green beans, pork, dong leaves ... symbolizing the land.

Nowadays, some Tet customs have changed. In the past, almost every house would hand-wrap banh Chung on Tet holiday. The whole family or a few families gather together. Each person has his or her job, preparing leaves, sticky rice, beans...The warmth from the fire helps dispel the cold of the air. The warmth from the fire helps to dispel the cold of the air and everyone has time to talk to each other. It is Tet, the beginning of a more optimistic and better new year.

Banh chung is an indispensable traditional cake on Tết festival in the Northern provinces

Banh chung is an indispensable traditional cake on Tết festival in the Northern provinces (Photo: Internet)

Middle Vietnam

As the land is in the middle of the territory, the Central region has the cultural interference of the North and the South in parallel with local customs. Therefore, Tet holiday in the Central region is similar to the other two regions but still has its characteristics.

If the North displays peach blossoms, ochna integerrima is a popular flower in Central Vietnam on Tet holiday. People believe that if the ochna integerrima blooms at the time of New Year’s Eve or early on the first day will bring more luck, prosperity, and happiness to family.

Ochna integerrima adorn spring days more brilliantly

Ochna integerrima  adorn spring days more brilliantly (Photo: Internet)


Similar to the North and South, Tet in the Central region cannot be without the presence of the five-fruit tray. According to custom, people often choose fruits that are sweet, fragrant, large, and keep for a long time. For the most part, the five-fruit tray includes banana, soursop, coconut, papayas, mangoes, etc. The five-fruit trays can be grandiose or simple, but all encapsulate the wish for a happy and prosperous new year.

Dishes prepared for Tet are very diverse and mouth watering

Dishes prepared for Tet are very diverse and mouth-watering (Photo: Internet)


 Depending on each family, the New Year's meal tray has ham, pork bologna, fermented pork rolls, vegetable pickles, cakes, etc. Local people like to eat rice paper with boiled meat, vegetables, fish sauce, etc.  A special feature is that the Central region eats both banh Chung and banh tet on Tet. Banh chung is packed small and has less filling than the North. Banh Tet is cut into circles, and best served with vegetable pickles.


Southern Vietnam

Southern Vietnam is a young land compared to the other two regions of the country. The variety of river networks and nature has created a free life for generations of this land. In the South, Tet is also well prepared, bearing the impression of open land.

Tet is an occasion for family reunion visit relatives and enjoy life after a full hard working year

Tet is an occasion for family reunion, visit relatives, and enjoy life after a full hard-working year  (Photo: Inetrnet)

The ancestral altar is the most cared for place in the house when celebrating Tet. Cleaning, polishing the copper urn, making the vase and the five-fruit tray are indispensable things. In the South, a tray of five fruits includes soursop, coconut, papaya, mango, and fig. Because they based on the homonymous phenomenon to set meaning for each fruit.

– Mãng cầu (Soursop) – sound as “cầu” in “cầu mong” (wish)

– Sung (fig) – sound “sung” in “sung túc” (well-to-do)

– Dừa (coconut) – sound “vừa” in “vừa phải” (overage)

– Đu đủ (papaya) – sound “đủ” in “đầy đủ”  (enough)

– Xoài (mango) – sound “xài” in “tiêu xài”  (spend)

The phrase “Cầu sung vừa đủ xài” means wishing to earn enough to spend and live in good condition.

 Banh tet is an important component of the celebrations

Banh tet is an important component of the celebrations (Photo: Internet)

In the South, the Tet tray is never without the presence of braised meat, bitter melon soup and banh tet. Similar to banh chung of the North, banh tet is wrapped with delicious sticky rice, green beans and fatty meat. The main savory dish on the tray is braised pork with eggs. Pork is cut into large squares, braised very tenderly with duck eggs, coconut water, etc. Besides, local people always eat stewed bitter melon on Tet Holiday because it has a special meaning. The name of bitter melon in Vietnam is “khổ qua”, which means difficulty passed. Vietnamese people believe that after eating bitter melon soup, they can say goodbye the difficulty and welcome the happinest in new year. The bitter taste of bitter melon combined with the goodness of meat, ham, mushrooms, onion... Not only is a delicious dish, but it also helps to clear the body's heat when eating too many energy-rich dishes during Tet.

The old year has passed, and the new year has come with the expectation of good things and good luck. The hardships and sorrows are temporarily closed, everyone shares the good things to celebrate the coming spring. Wishing everyone a peaceful, prosperous and prosperous new year.

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