So you’re in Vietnam during this special time of the year, Lunar New Year a.k.a Christmas-like-holiday (in case you’re just lazy to find out what it is).

And you’re wondering “Hey, if this is like Christmas, do they do things similar to the west?”. The answer is YES and NO. But let’s skip the YES part, here is 3 things we do differently.

 

VISIT PAGODA, TEMPLE (A HELL LOT OF PARYING ACTIVITIES)

 

The lofty tradition reflexes religious belief of Vietnamese people has been preserved and developed for thousands years. People coming to pagodas and temple to pray for a happy new year with full of wishes may come true and showing respect and appreciation to Buddha and Gods who have been protecting and granting their wishes. Visiting pagodas could also a good way to enjoy Tet’s atmosphere and forget about all the stress and worry of the previous year in the sacred space there. Vietnamese families usually visit pagodas and temples with all of their members as well as going in grand family as a way to show sincerity.

 

GIVE LUCKY MONEY TO CHILDREN AND ELDERS

 

This tradition is undoubtedly the most awaited Tet’s activity of all Vietnamese children. The custom is not a meaningless one since it does not only make children feel happier on Tet, it also educates them the value of money and how to save money for good purpose. Like its very definition, lucky money bring luck to children such as healthiness, intelligence and obedient and luck to the givers as well.

 

NEW YEAR GREETING

 

From the first day of the year, people start going around and greet their relatives and friends with the best wishes. This custom seems to be more common in villages than in big city because villagers live much more close than people in cities; also, they are often relatives of each other living in the same village. The order of people to be greeted is usually relatives first and then friends and colleague.

 

Elders’ house would be the first destinations in which parents’ house is the very first one. This custom is not simple exchanging wishes between guests and hosts, it is the chance for brothers and sisters and friends to meet each other after a long separated year.