Today’s Doodle celebrates a significant Vietnamese holiday: the Lunar New Year (Vietnam)! This holiday, known as Tet in Vietnamese, is celebrated annually by communities. During Tet festival, people often travel to the homes of their extended families and celebrate the new year with feasts.
Tet festival is traditionally observed for three days, during which time friends and coworkers visit temples and ancestral burial grounds. People typically consume vegetables, banh chung (sticky rice cake), and cu kieu at family celebrations (pickled scallion).
Red and yellow are associated with good fortune, and Vietnamese people give money to children and retirees in red envelopes. It is also customary to adorn the exteriors of homes with flowers, typically hoa dao (cherry blossoms) in the north and hoa mai (yellow Mai flower) in the south.
This year is the Year of the Cat, which is associated with wealth, intelligence, and dexterity. The Doodle is made of paper to pay homage to the art of paper folding and cutting traditionally practised during the Lunar New Year.
Tet Nguyen Dan is also known as the Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year, and the Lunar New Year of Vietnam. Tet is an extremely important holiday in Vietnamese culture, and people make every effort to celebrate with their loved ones.
In addition to welcoming the New Year, the celebration also celebrates the arrival of spring. Only the Children’s Holiday comes close to being as significant as the Tet holiday. People prepare for this day by visiting their families, cleaning their homes, and preparing massive quantities of food.
Numerous customs relating to good fortune are observed during these days to ensure that the New Year is better than the previous one. During this time, children and seniors are given lucky money, and people may start new businesses.
An important aspect of the Tet celebrations is ancestor worship, in which people pray to their deceased ancestors and clean their graves as a sign of respect.
There are three major components to the Tet Holiday: Tat Nien, which occurs two days prior to Tet and is reserved for the immediate family; Giao Thua, which is New Year’s Eve and for friends; and Tan Nien, which is New Year’s Day and the days that follow.
Food is an integral part of Tet, as the Vietnamese phrase for celebrating the holiday is “to eat Tet.” Numerous traditional dishes are prepared, some of which are regularly consumed while others are unique to the day.
Happy Lunar New Year, Vietnam!