Tet, which means the first morning of the first day of the new year, is the Vietnamese New Year. The celebration lasts for 7 days. Like the Chinese, the Lunar New Year is one of the most celebrated holidays.
Preparation for Tet starts weeks before New Year's Day. Homes are cleaned to get rid of bad fortune associated with the old year. Families paint their homes to give it a new look. Everyone gets new clothes and new shoes. Pay your debts and resolve differences between family and friends.
A special ceremony called Le Tru Tich is held at the mid-night hour (Giao Thua) on New Year's Eve. The ritual involves firecrackers and gongs and other festive items that make loud noises to usher out the old and welcome the new.
Like the Chinese, Vietnamese people are very careful 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. Don't visit people who are in mourning because they are associated with death. Children should not fight or cry on New Year's Day. Homes are decorated with Hoa Mai, a yellow blossom that represents spring.
Family members exchange gifts and pay homage to the Kitchen God. They also visit local temples to pray for prosperity and good health.
During Tet, Vietnamese families plant a New Year's tree called Cay Neu in front of their homes. A bamboo pole is often used as a Cay Neu. All the leaves are removed from the tree so that it can be wrapped or decorated by good luck red paper. Legends have it that the red color scares off evil spirits. On the seventh (the last) day of Tet, the Cay Neu is taken down. This is the last ritual of the New Year celebration.
Here are a few pictures of our New Year celebration
Children performing on stage
Philippines community joins us in the celebration
Mr. & Mrs. John Burnett (State Rep) and Mr. & Mrs. Trieu Nguyen (President Vietnamese Veteran Org. of KC)
Happy New Year with Happiness and Prosperity
Rev. Raymond Tu (black shirt), Mr. Tri Nguyen (white shirt), Mr. Nhan Nguyen (blue shirt)
Former City Council, Mr. Alvin Brooks.