Tet, also known as Tet Nguyen Dan or simply Tet, is the most important and widely celebrated holiday in Vietnam. It is the Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival, and it holds great cultural and historical significance in the country. Here is some information about Tet holiday in Vietnam:

  1. Timing: Tet usually falls in late January or early February, depending on the lunar calendar. The specific date varies from year to year.

  2. Duration: The holiday typically lasts for about a week, with preparations starting weeks in advance. It includes the days leading up to the new year, the new year's day itself, and a few days afterward.

  3. Cultural Significance: Tet is a time for family reunions and paying respects to ancestors. Vietnamese people believe that what happens during Tet will influence the rest of the year, so they try to start the new year with positive thoughts and actions.

  4. Traditional Customs and Rituals:

    • Cleaning: Homes are thoroughly cleaned before Tet to get rid of bad luck and make way for good luck.
    • Decorations: Houses are adorned with traditional flowers like peach blossoms and kumquat trees.
    • Altar Offerings: Families visit temples and pagodas, bringing offerings of incense, fruit, and other symbolic items.
    • Lucky Money: Elders give "lucky money" (red envelopes) to children and young adults.
    • Food: Special Tet dishes are prepared, including banh chung (square sticky rice cake), banh tet (cylindrical sticky rice cake), and various traditional sweets.
  5. Travel: Tet is a time when many Vietnamese people return to their hometowns or villages to celebrate with their families. As a result, it's one of the busiest times for travel in Vietnam, with transportation often booked well in advance.

  6. Fireworks and Festivities: In major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there are often elaborate firework displays, parades, and cultural events to celebrate Tet.

  7. Business Closures: Many businesses, shops, and government offices are closed during Tet, so it's important to plan accordingly if you're traveling to Vietnam during this time.

  8. Traditional Clothing: During Tet, it's common to see people dressed in their finest traditional ao dai clothing, particularly on the first day of the new year.

  9. Superstitions: Vietnamese people have various superstitions associated with Tet. For example, it's considered bad luck to sweep the house on the first day of the new year, as it's believed to sweep away good fortune.

Tet is a time of joy, reflection, and renewal in Vietnam. It's an excellent opportunity for travelers to experience the rich culture and traditions of the country, but it's essential to be mindful of the potential challenges such as crowded transportation and limited services during this period.