La mejor de Vietnam

Happy Lunar New Year!

According to Skyscanner magazine, the Têt festival in Vietnam is top of the list for the most unique and distinctive festivals in the world. Let’s discover what this event consists of and then enter the soul of a country as it prepares for its rituals and traditions during the 4 days of the festival.

Têt holiday follows a precise protocol with steps that have to be duly respected in order to start the new year in the best way. It takes place over only 4 days each year: the equivalent of the last day of December, January 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Lunar Calendar. The first day is to celebrate New Year’s Eve, the second one to wish a happy new year to all the members of the family on the father’s side, the third day to share greetings with your mother’s side and the last day is to thank the teachers who hold a very special status in Vietnamese society.

However, the Têt holiday does not consist of just these 4 days. Vietnamese people spend almost a full month preparing for it. They decorate their houses with peach or orange trees, go shopping to get all the required ingredients for the celebratory meals, prepare new clothes and clean the house.


In the cities you can see all the inhabitants hurrying around in order not to miss anything. They transport trees on the back of their motorbikes, a wonderful sight as the colorful trees appear to float along the road! The gardens and public places are beautifully decorated with flowers and lights and sometimes music plays over loudspeakers.

Then, for the day itself, everybody travels to their hometown to gather in the family home to party and wish a peaceful yea rto all the members and different generations of the family. The children receive a red envelope with cash inside.

The menu for the Têt festival is very traditional and precise too. Usually people eat boiled chicken and famous “banh chung”, which is a square or round sticky rice cake stuffed with pork and yellow beans, cooked in banana leaves. It is absolutely delicious, even more when it is home-made by the mother and the grandmother of the family!


So, as all the Vietnamese gather within the family home, the cities are quite empty with a lot of shops closed and less staff working in the hospitality industry. This is why tourists must be prepared when they book their travel: the Têt period is a very rewarding time to discover the soul of Vietnam, but prices are usually higher, services are probably not as well organized and restaurants, shops etc. may be closed for a few days. But visitors can enjoy the peace and quiet as they walk around the cities, such as Hanoi, where it is very busy for the rest of the year. They can admire the colors and decorations in the streets, on the front of houses and in the hotels and restaurants.

This year we enter the year of the goat on February the 19th, a gentle animal which promises a happy, peaceful and calm year.

So as we say in Vietnam: Chuc mung nam moi!

The Luxury Travel Team

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