Happy New Year!!
What? You might be surprised, but today, the 10th of February is actually the Vietnamese New Year ‘Tet’. It also falls on the same days as the Chinese New Year and it celebrates the new year and welcomes spring. During the New Year, the entire country comes to a grinding halt as every local in Vietnam celebrates it with a lot of fervor and spends a lot of relaxed time with their family.
Typically, the country takes a break for four days and that is in the capital city of Ho Chi Minh city, but if you go into the countryside, people are known to celebrate for as much as 10 days. The Vietnamese have an interesting way of celebrating their New Year. They buy a lot of flowers and peach blossom or other related trees to decorate their house. Then, they buy these greeting cards and gift it to their friends and family along with some money as a ‘Good Luck’ gesture. I have been less than a week here, but a local passed me some of the good luck too.
As I write to you, I hear the fireworks going off in the background, but I returned home a little before the New Year gong as the entire city has taken to the street especially the area around the Rex hotel and the five star hotel corridor in District 1. Every place is decorated with lights, flowers and lamps. Everything looks beautiful, but I wanted to return home before the crowd returns home together after the midnight celebrations.
This is the ‘Year of the Snake’. Let’s welcome it and see what it has in store for all of us. Happy New Year Vietnam! Have a great year ahead!!