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Vietnamese New Year. Essay

1125 words - 5 pages

How I celebrate Vietnamese New YearThe Vietnamese biggest celebration is the welcoming of the New Year. It is called Tet, which means the first morning of the first day of the New Year. Traditionally, it is celebrated for one week long. This is different from the western culture, which celebrates for only one day. According to the Vietnamese lunar calendar this is the year of the Goat. The lunar calendar was created by the systematically changing phases of the moon. Consequently, the actual days of the New Year vary from year to year according to the moon's phases.Preparation for Tet starts weeks before New Year's Day. All homes are clean to get rid of bad fortune associated with the old year. Every member of the family participates in the preparation and cleaning process. The house must be thoroughly cleansed from inside and outside. Sweeping and scrubbing is done in advance as tradition discourages cleaning during the holiday itself. It is considered bad luck to start the New Year cleaning. Sweeping the floor is like sweeping the good fortunes away elsewhere. Families paint their homes to give it a new look. The mothers are busy buying new clothes for everyone to wear on New Year's Day. Anyone who has debts needs to pay them off before the New Year to mark a new beginning. Also, it is very important to visit the graves of the ancestors and burn incense to call upon the souls of the dead visit the family home. Anyone who doesn't do this is regarded as the ill-fated child and would be punished by the ancestors.The markets are swarmed with people preparing for the New Year. Most homes have the same celebration food and items. The traditionally food that must be purchased are the sugared fruits, banh chung and the colorful decorations before the afternoon of Tet. Two items required for the proper enjoyment of Tet are flowering branches and the kumquat bush. Miniature kumquat bushes about two to three feet tall are carefully selected. People carefully pick a kumquat bush by paying attention to the symmetrical shape, to the leaves and to the color and shape of the fruit. In the south, the bright golden yellow branches of the mai apricot are seen everywhere. In the north, the soft rose-colored dao peach flowers decorate homes and businesses. These trees represent spring and the blossoms represent good fortunes about to happen.At the mid-night hour on New Year's Eve a special ceremony called Le Tru Tich takes place. The ritual is loud and everyone participates in the huge celebration. Adults and children lights up the firecrackers and bang the gongs to make loud noises to usher out the old and welcome the New Year.Similar to the Chinese people, Vietnamese people are very superstitious about what they do on New Year's Day. The events on New Year's Day determine your luck for the rest of the year. Therefore, everything and everyone you are in touch with on New Year's Day should symbolize good fortune. It is the unspoken forbiddance to not visit people...

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