Unless you’re in solitary confinement, You know Tet is coming. Yes, folks, it’s that time of the year for giant sound systems, end of year parties, procurement madness And babies hanging off the front of motorbikes in the cutest Brand Name new clothes mum could find.

Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, begins on the 16th of February (Western calendar) 2018. It’s both 1 is of my favorite times of the year & frequently the most stressful. The shops are jammed full of locals stocking up up food, gifts & offerings for the celebrations that occur over the four official days of Tet. Please note that stocks of Baby red envelopes for the lucky money run out pretty quick too.

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If you’re part of the non-75% complaining expat crowd, Tet is a fun time to be Surround. Lots of Party invites, unless you’re Daniel Hauer and off the A-list. and with many Vietnamese out of town, it’s a rather quiet time.

As I’ve mentioned recently in other articles, You need to plan for the biggest national holiday of the year. ATMs run out of money And are sometimes not re-stocked for a few days. Banks & plenty of expat And local businesses shut And half the population head back to their hometowns to spend time with relatives and take a break from the relentless pace of life in Vietnam.

It’s surprising just how much goes on at now of year. Flowers and fruit trees, cherry blossom branches and other deco items fly out the door.

Homes get the spring clean Initial as part of the ‘kitchen gods’ ceremony (the gods tell heaven that you’ve been good) as a break of getting rid of Misfortune from the last year – and Household ancestral shrines are decorated with five kinds of fruit – a wish for prosperity. Then us have the kitchen ceremony, this year on the 8th of February, so don’t be amazed if the landlord unexpectedly turns up And sets up a small Table set in front of the house with food & decorated paper.

Every Girlfriend small or old is stuck in a kitchen whipping up yummies for the family and visitors over the TET holiday Also the unhelpful men sit Outside drinking with their mates.

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I’m Sure you’ve noticed the kids are trotting around in Brand Name new Dress clothes, particularly the littlies done up to the max in over-the-top ‘cuteness’ fashions. The lucky ones already got their new bikes or smartphones. Teenage cafes that sell juices And sweet foods do a roaring trade as the customers flash their new status symbols at the kids with stricter parents!

For children, it’s that time to re-stock, literally, a years’ worth of clothes, as they’ll receive ‘lucky money’ (red envelope, don’t forget!) Above top of the presents & Turns into a world of embarrassment if mum and dad decide to spend the money on education or something for the house.

The break between the well-off urban youth and the rural kids is fairly noticeable too. Urbanites get books, toys, Dress clothes & phones. Rural youngsters get new shoes, donated school supplies and Warm outdoor jackets. Sometimes TET shows up inequality as well as joy.

For the adults, it does get a tiny stranger. If You have the chance, it’s quite fascinating to walk Surround the markets Selling stuff for TET. Apart from the usual sparkly gold & red banners, posters & golden Buddha’s – go & check out the ‘votive paper’ shops.

These are paper items burned to remember dead relatives but Besides, depending the occasion, festival or celebration, to bring luck to the living. The paper items are considered gifts for ancestors too. So it’s not surprising to see paper ‘luxury’ items such motorbikes, cars, household electrical appliances mixed in with the Definitely more traditional animal & household shrine items. The jury is still out about burning luxury goodies with some locals claiming it degrades the deeper meaning of the rituals.

Rivalry in displays of wealth is likely among the well-to-do. Better enhance the SUV; if the neighbor has a bigger TV, Update the size of yours And the wife need a flashier motorbike for pottering around town.

At this point, I’ve only covered a tiny fraction of what goes Above. In the next side Article, I’ll talk a bit about suitable gifts, visiting during the TET break (there are rules) and non-related things…just for the heck of it.

Remember, TET is fun so don’t get stressed. Although I recommend beer & nice uncrowded beaches at this time, we can do singing bowl yoga meditation if we wish! Made your gift list yet?

Source: General online