VIETNAM – The TET festival (part 2)
As reported in the previous episode, for the Vietnamese the Tet is the most important event of the year. Their origins are remembered, family members are hugged and prayed together for the ancestors.
Every Vietnamese, wherever he has ended up for work reasons, will do everything to return to his birthplace to visit the tombs of his ancestors and spend this holiday with his family. The party is obviously then extended to each village, this means that the big cities become empty during this period and are particularly quiet.
The custom of firecrackers (which crackled continuously in the days before the Tet) was prohibited by the government due to its dangerousness. However, the tradition of the lion dance remains unchanged, performed on the streets by dancers and acrobats, accompanied by a large costume depicting a mythical monster with a lion’s head.
Obviously the whole festive period is accompanied by the preparation of typical traditional family dishes, in particular glutinous rice cakes, eggs and meat, which require a long time (about 12 hours) and the contribution of various family members who have to alternate between facing the fire.
New Year’s day is characterized by great binges and at the stroke of midnight we celebrate and try to make as much noise as possible to make the bad spirits escape for good. Immediately after we move on to prayer.
Once the new year begins, it is also very important that the first person to visit the house is the right one: possibly male, with a good character, rich, with a happy family and with many children. This first visit will be decisive for the fortunes of the entire year. So it is always better to wait for an invitation rather than surprise someone’s home, to avoid being an unwelcome guest and being kindly turned away by the host.
Happy Vietnamese New Year to everyone !!