Tet Quy Mao in the hearts of Vietnamese here and there

Tet is the symbol of renewal. The Vietnamese Lunar New Year is calculated according to the lunar calendar, meaning it is after the Solar New Year.

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Round shape glutinous rice cake or ban tet it is one of the typical dishes of Tet.

The traditional Tet lasts 14 days, from the last seven days of the old year to the first seven days of the new year. The first day of the Lunar New Year 2023 is under the sign of the Cat and falls on January 22, 2023 of our calendar. In Vietnamese we speak of Têt Quy Mao.

In Vietnam

All families are preparing for this big celebration. First you have to go shopping in the markets incredibly stocked with various products: vegetables, fruit, meat, herbs, spices but also rice alcohol, as well as all the decoration for the altar of the ancestors. Each house is decorated and if possible adorned with red and gold decorative objects (symbolizing prosperity and happiness), calligraphy, fruits and flowers such as yellow chrysanthemums (symbolizing longevity).

In big cities like Hanoi, Huê, Dà Nang or Hô Chi Minh City, it’s buzzing a few days before Tet: the shops and even the neighboring streets are teeming with people and we can no longer distinguish buyers from sellers! While Tet meals vary according to the climatic and cultural peculiarities of each region, the two common and essential dishes in the three regions of the country are the square-shaped glutinous rice cakes (ban chung) or rounded (ban tet). These two cakes are made with sticky rice, mung beans and pork, then steamed and wrapped in leaves dong. the ban chung is square to symbolize the Earth while the ban tet, is circular in shape and symbolizes Heaven. These two traditional desserts pay homage to ancestors, Heaven and Earth. Boiled chicken is another must-have dish during the Tet meal. It is usually served with sticky rice and ban chung. In Huê, families prepare boiled pork, fermented pork or fried fish, while in Ho Chi Minh City, pork with egg caramel and coconut milk can be served on the ancestors’ altar.

In France

The Tet festival is an opportunity for the Vietnamese diaspora, -i Vietnam– return to the country to visit their families and loved ones. If they don’t return, they gather with their families around a frugal banquet and exchange meaningful greetings. In all cities of France, the Vietnam maintain ancestral customs and traditions. The Tet rites begin a week before, with the ceremony of cúng ông Táo, offerings to the genius of the hearth. It is tradition to prepare a meal for him, consisting of various dishes placed on an altar, in order to allow him to gain strength to undertake a long journey to go and intercede with the God of Heaven, the favors of families. beggars.

An artistic number of Vietnam in France to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2023.
Photo: Thu Hà Nguyên/CVN

Then they also decorate the altar of the ancestors and arrange a tray of fruit and dishes prepared for the occasion, as happens in Vietnam on January 21 at 18:00 (Paris time). Fruits – including bananas, grapefruits, persimmons, tangerines and kumquats – are placed next to the ban chung and a hot dish. Some families go to the pagoda, for ceremonies but also to rediscover the atmosphere of the Tet, among families and friends.

New Year’s Eve is very important because all acts and events that occur on this day have repercussions throughout the New Year. It is believed that the first person to cross the threshold of the house brings happiness. The children have new clothes. They receive brand new banknotes – li-xi in red envelopes – for good luck (red represents luck and prosperity in Vietnamese culture). Traditionally children have to kneel down to receive their envelopes. The exchange is always done with both hands, for the one who gives it and for the one who receives it

The Vietnam from the Paris region they go in particular to the Truc Lâm pagoda in Villebon-sur-Yvette for the Buddhist ceremony. Then they are invited to a vegetarian meal. To get there, women usually wear áo dai. It is Vietnamese women’s favorite traditional costume for special occasions, it comes as a tight-fitting tunic, the two sides of which separate at the waist and fall to mid-calf. The tunic, made of different fabrics, is worn with trousers in black or white silk or in the same color as the tunic. The garment covers the body subtly revealing the graceful silhouette of women.

The 2And Têt day, families and friends invite each other for greetings, with a cup of tea accompanied by candied dried fruit or sweets that give pleasure.

For the Vietnam Paris, the General Union of Vietnamese in France organizes a big party on Saturday January 28, 2023 from 1pm at the Pavillon Baltard in Nogent-Sur-Marne. There will be songs and dances but above all a large market of fresh products, popular clothing and various tourist and handicraft objects of the country.

The Têt festival has become an unmissable event not to be missed. What impact does it have on the hearts of VietnamHere and there ?

Nguyen Dac Nhu Mai/CVN

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