New Year’s Day is often celebrated on the first of January, but this is not always the case. In countries which follow the lunar calendar, the first day of the year could fall on any day in January or February. This is true for certain countries in Asia such as China and Vietnam.
If you want to experience the magic of Southeast Asian festivities, then you should definitely try celebrating the Lunar New Year in Vietnam. And to help you get into the holiday spirit here's how to say happy New Year in Vietnamese.
Tet Nguyen Dan (Tet for short) is the Vietnamese equivalent of the New Year’s celebration. But unlike the Western New Year’s Day celebration which is celebrated on the first day of January, Tet is celebrated on the first day of the first month in the Lunar Calendar.
Unlike the Gregorian Calendar, the Vietnamese Lunar Calendar has a fixed number of 12 months with 30 days each. For this reason, the date on which Tet falls due varies every year. It generally falls sometime in late January or early February, depending on whether the past year is a leap year or not.
Another unique feature of Tet is its length and significance. Tet is, in fact, the biggest and longest holiday in Vietnam. Its celebration begins on the day before Tet and could last up to seven days. It is a time of family get-togethers and is essentially a combination of Christmas and New Year.
Tet occupies an important role in Vietnamese culture. For one, it is an occasion for the Vietnamese to remember and pay respects to their ancestors. It is likewise significant in their religious beliefs, it being the day to get rid of bad luck from the previous year.
The celebration of Tet is grounded on tradition. True enough, there are a number of practices that must be observed during this celebration. Some of these practices are the following:
Vietnam is a diverse country with a growing tourism industry, so it’s not difficult to find English speakers there. Having said that, it’s perfectly fine to say your greetings in English. In fact, as long as you say your greeting with a smile, you can get your good wishes across regardless of the language used.
Nevertheless, it’s particularly satisfying to be able to say your greetings in Vietnamese. “Happy New Year” in Vietnamese translates to “Chúc mừng năm mới!” This is pronounced as “Chook' moong- num moy'”. “Chook” and “moy” are said with a higher tone. Meanwhile, “moong” is said with a lower tone.
This phrase might seem a little complicated at first, but with enough practice, you’d be able to get the pronunciation and the tone right.
The New Year’s Day celebration in Vietnam is as intriguing as it is lively and fun. The celebration has no fixed date of observance, which adds to its uniqueness. It is also shrouded in a century’s worth of practice, beliefs, and traditions.
How about you? Do you have a favorite festivity in a foreign country? If you do, let us know your favorite in the comments down below. Want to see more of this? Give me a shout-out in the comments below and let me know what topics you want me to discuss next. Chúc mừng năm mới!