Tet 2013 Festival
Tet, or Tet Nguyen Dan is the Vietnamese Lunar new year, which translates in English to Feast of the First Morning. Celebrated in February of 2013, this upcoming Tet 2013 festival will feature old world traditions as well as new adages to welcome in the coming of a new era and is a way of expressing respect for ancestors well as opening a new year with their families.
Since it falls on day one of month one on the Chinese calendar, it is often combined with and celebrated in conjunction with Chinese New Year. Tet will be a 5 day celebration, beginning on February 9, and culminating in a festival on February 14, 2013, with the actual date of New Year falling on the 10th.
Being a major new year celebration in comparison to other cultures, Tet is preceded by weeks of preparation with house cleaning and painting being the most common. With the Vietnamese belief that loud noises ward off bad luck, fireworks and gongs will be rung and set off all night. There will be parades, featuring lion and dragon traditional dances and family feasting. As part of the traditional celebration, inviting ancestors who have passed on to join in the celebration is common, with special ceremonies and rituals involved.
Traditional food served on Tet consists of Vietnamese delicacies like a Sticky Rice Dumpling called Banh Chung, a roasted Watermelon seed, pickled onions and a wide variety of dried and sweetened fruit. At the end of the Tet Nguyen Dan celebration, elders will hand out envelopes full of money to children to reward good behavior, and as a symbol of good luck.
Tet 2013 will celebrate the beginning of the year of the snake, following the close of the year of the Dragon, and in 2014 it will be the year of the horse. It is a traditional celebration full of joy, while still remembering and respecting the loved ones who have gone before.
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