HOI AN IS THE PERFECT PLACE TO EXPERIENCE TET
Tet is also known as known as The ‘Feast of the First Morning of the First Day’. It is when the new and good replace old and bad elements and people turn one year older as traditionally the New Year determines one’s age. The Tet spirit permeates Vietnam but Hoi An is one of the most endearing places to soak up the atmosphere. While other areas may ‘close down’ as locals take their big annual holiday and enjoy family reunions, Hoi An does more to entertain both international visitors and the local community. Many Hoi An families participate in homestay tours allowing visitors to experience Tet at first hand.
Important traditions are practiced. On the Tet Eve families observe the ancestor ritual. A table is laid with flowers, fruit, banh chung, offering papers for burning, candles, rice wine, boiled chicken, sweets and cakes. The morning of the first day of Tet families exchange greetings while traditionally the elders and young children receive red envelopes containing lucky money.
The family drink tea together and eat candid fruits and various seeds. Four different cakes, particular to Hoi An and the region, are eaten – Banh Tet and Banh To commemorate the ancestors while Banh In and Banh No signify good luck in the New Year.
Also of great significance is the “First Footer” – the person who brings either good or bad luck to the host family, so the choice of person who visits one’s home first is extremely important.
Over the Tet holiday smartly dressed families visit places of worship and ancestor’s graves, making offerings and praying for peace and prosperity in the New Year. After that they will visit relatives and friends, in order of seniority – grandparents first down to friends and neighbors.
Celebrating Tet in Hoi An means you will experience the holiday period as a local.
Tet 2019 calendar 6 days statutory holiday
4 February – Vietnamese New Year’s Eve
5 February – Vietnamese New Year’s Day
6-9 February inclusive – Tet holiday