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Monday, June 17, 2024

Tet Nguyen Dan – the Vietnamese Lunar New Year

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Absoluteasiatravel – Tết is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. It is also known as the Vietnamese New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year or Tet Holiday. It is the shortened form of Tết Nguyên Đán, which is the Sino-Vietnamese term for “Feast of the First Morning of the First Day”.

Tết marks the arrival of spring and generally takes place from late January to mid-February. Since a lot of people return home to celebrate the holiday with friends and family, the busy cities clear out and become almost like ghost towns.

Tết can be an exciting time to visit Vietnam, but it is also the busiest time of the year to be there. The festivities will definitely have a huge impact on your travel plans. Markets and shopping malls become busier and hotels get booked. Popular beach destinations and tourist spots like Hoi An have more sightseers than usual.

If you decide to go ahead and travel to Vietnam during Tet, there are upsides. It is an excellent time to see Vietnamese culture and traditions. Public stages are set up across the country for free shows, music, and entertainment. The streets are filled with flowers and the people are in very festive spirit. The locals become more outgoing as they focus on inviting good fortune into their homes and businesses for the upcoming year. They believe that whatever transpires on the first day of the new year will set the pace for the rest of the year.

It can become incredibly noisy though. Cities will have fireworks everywhere, people will be making noise by banging gongs, ringing bells, and lighting firecrackers to scare away evil spirits that bring bad luck. The revelry typically lasts for three days, although in some areas it could drag on for more than a week. The first day of Tet is normally spent with family, the second day is for catching up with friends, and the third day is dedicated to teachers and visiting temples.

Traveling during this holiday season can pose some difficulties. Buses and trains are sold out in advance so travel itineraries can’t wait until the last minute. Museums, shopping areas, and other commercial establishments can be closed for up to five days and this can affect sightseeing plans. See to it that you have things to do to keep you occupied.

Pro Tip: Plan well in advance as hotels and domestic flights might be fully booked already. Please bear in mind that tour guide fees and transportation fees are often increased during this period due to high demand.

Dates for Tet in Vietnam:

  • 2020: January 24-28
  • 2021: February 11-15
  • 2022: February 1-4

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