How will you and your family ring in the Lunar New Year? In Vietnam, Têt’s pending arrival means it’s time to clean your house, adorn it with yellow apricot blossoms and calligraphy, and prepare sumptuous dishes like Chung Cake. St. Mary’s international students, Tiffany Hoang and Helen To, share some of their favorite Têt traditions, which offer a glimpse of the colorful and flavorful festival that will begin this year on February 12, a day of transition to the Year of the Ox.
Têt’s hopeful vibe is one we can all use, for the joyful celebration honors family ancestors and the triumphs and hard work of the past, while preparing plans for a positive future. Elders give youngsters red envelopes containing lì xì, or lucky money, with wishes that the next generation will eat well, grow up healthy, and enjoy a long life. Families pay homage to their ancestors. It is a time to repair what is broken and welcome in good luck and fortune with revelatory celebrations. Têt, like the Lunar New Year celebrations by Asian cultures around the world, is about renewal.
Thanks to Tiffany Hoang and Helen To, who share their favorite Têt traditions. May we all embrace the spirit of this most important Vietnamese holiday.