Tết Nguyên Đán AKA Tết - Lunar New Year featival for Vietnam and falls on the same day as the Chinese New Year. For the Vietnamese, it contains a very sacred meaning.
“Tết” is a Sino-Vietnamese 節 for “Feast”.“Nguyên” 元 means “the First”
“Đán” 旦 means “Date” / “Day”.
So Tết Nguyên Đán is Sino-Vietnamese for “Feast of the First Morning” of a New Agrarian Calendar.
Considered the first day of spring and most important of national holidays in Vietnam, Tet is the annual Vietnamese New Year celebration, coinciding with the Lunar New Year celebrated throughout the world in January or February. It is a time to forget about past troubles and hope for a better upcoming year. Since many people return home for the holiday, busy cities can become almost like ghost towns during the main day of celebration.
Preparations for Tet begin two weeks before the arrival of the New Year. Houses are cleaned, new clothes are bought, and debts are paid off, all done to have a fresh start to the upcoming year. Markets become busy as food is bought for family reunions and special, extensive meals are cooked. This is also a time to buy flowers, such as peach blossoms, kumquat trees, and chrysanthemums. Some streets even be blocked in this occasion. For tourists, this is a great time to be in Vietnam. Everyone is in a very festive spirit and the streets are filled with flowers.
New Year’s Eve has a party like atmosphere. Cities will launch fireworks, people will be making noise with gongs, bells, and firecrackers to ward any an evil or unlucky spirits nearby.