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Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tet)

2024 - Year Of The Dragon

Vietnamese Tet, also known as Tet Nguyen Dan or simply Tet, is the most important festival in Vietnamese culture. It is the Vietnamese New Year, and it marks the beginning of the lunar calendar. Tet Holiday carries love and hope; signifies family and friend kinship; and promises a better year ahead. If you are interested in learning about local life in Vietnam, there could not be a better time than Tet.


Vietnamese Traditional Calligraphy During Tet
Local Customs

Vietnamese Traditional Calligraphy During Tet

Tet holiday is undoubted the most important and expected event of a year in Vietnam. During Tet, a number of traditional meaningful customs are practiced and calligraphy hanging is one of most beautiful one.

Last Day Of The Lunar Year: All Rituals Packed In 24 Hours
Local Customs

Last Day Of The Lunar Year: All Rituals Packed In 24 Hours

The last day of the year is also the most important day since people trying to finish all necessary remaining duty of the whole year and preparation for an upcoming year.

"Li xi" - Lucky Money for Tet
Local Customs

"Li xi" - Lucky Money for Tet

Visiting Vietnam on the very first days of Lunar New Year, tourists may feel curious when seeing children are extremely happy and excited about receiving tiny red envelopes from adults.

Business Opening? Pick The Right Date For A Prosperous Year
Local Customs

Business Opening? Pick The Right Date For A Prosperous Year

Derived from the perfectionist viewpoint of welcoming all good things and avoiding bad things at all cost, in Vietnamese culture, before doing important things such as building a house, organizing a wedding party or starting a business, Vietnamese are convinced that choosing the right date is vital.

Kitchen God Day - Tet Tao Quan
Tet Essentials

Kitchen God Day - Tet Tao Quan

Well-known for the long-lasting history and rich culture, Vietnam is the land of festivities and celebrations. December of Lunar Calendar (normally January of Gregorian Calendar) is usually the busiest month as everybody is in a rush to prepare for some biggest festivals of the whole year.

Tet Nguyen Tieu - First Full Moon Of The Year
Tet Essentials

Tet Nguyen Tieu - First Full Moon Of The Year

Besides Tet, Tet Nguyen Tieu (First Full Moon of the New Year) is also a good opportunity for foreigners to experience Vietnamese culture thoroughly. Although Tet Nguyen Tieu originates from China, when being spread to Vietnam, Tet Nguyen Tieu has adopted to the particular cultural aspect of VIetnam and plays a significant role in Vietnamese's cultural and religious life.

Origin Of Vietnam Tradition Xông đất
Local Customs

Origin Of Vietnam Tradition Xông đất

Year by year, Tết holiday has repeated in the role of the most fundamental and also biggest festival of a year to Vietnamese, from Kinh people to ethnic communities. In this crucial event, Xông đất (first visit to a home in a year) appears to be one of the indispensable rites.

Do and Don't When Xong Dat
Local Customs

Do and Don't When Xong Dat

Tet Nguyen Dan- the biggest festival of the year- plays an extremely essential role in Vietnamese’s beliefs and culture. Among many complicated religious rituals performed in this occasion, “xong dat” (first visit to a home in a year) is believed to decide the fortune of the host for the whole year.

Visiting Pagodas On New Year Days
Local Customs

Visiting Pagodas On New Year Days

Together with the festive atmosphere Tet brings to Vietnam every year, the event also the best time of the year for Vietnamese to show their religious belief and traditional custom. Among them, visiting pagodas on the first days of the year has long been a lofty tradition.

What Gifts Do Vietnamese Bring For Tet?
Tet Essentials

What Gifts Do Vietnamese Bring For Tet?

Giving gifts on Tet Festival, which has been long a traditional custom in Vietnam’s ancient culture, represents not only the close relationship but also the thorough and subtle of human behaviors. Vietnamese are extremely careful in talking and behaving on the very first days of New Year, as it can determine the good fortune throughout the year.

Visiting Hoi An During Tet: 5 Things To Know
Travel Tips

Visiting Hoi An During Tet: 5 Things To Know

As Tet holiday is the most important period of a year to Vietnamese, just like Christmas and New Year to Weterners, there are some notices for travellers who want to travel to Hoi An during this holiday to avoid unpleasant things happen.

Year Of The Snake - 2013, 2025, 2037
Tet By Year

Year Of The Snake - 2013, 2025, 2037

Although to many people, snake is associated with venoms and danger, in Vietnam, snake is considered a symbol of luck. 2013 is thus believed by many a year of prosperity and peace.

Year Of The Horse - 2014, 2026, 2038
Tet By Year

Year Of The Horse - 2014, 2026, 2038

Horse represents pace and enthusiasm, so many people has strong belief that 2014 – The Year of Horse – might be a year of rapid development and prosperity.

Year Of The Goat - 2015, 2027, 2039
Tet By Year

Year Of The Goat - 2015, 2027, 2039

Learn more about Tet 2015 and Year of the Goat's symbolic value in Vietnam.

Year Of The Monkey - 2016, 2028, 2040
Tet By Year

Year Of The Monkey - 2016, 2028, 2040

For Vietnamese kids, monkey is probably the most familiar animal. Monkey is often thought of as a smart and fast animal which now exists either in a circus or in rural rainforests.

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Frequently asked questions

How much lucky money is appropriate?

The customary amount of lucky money given varies, ranging from 20,000 - 100,000 VND (for acquaintances) to 200,000 - 500,000 VND for closer relationships.

Will prices increase during this period?

Prices for various consumer goods and services like transportation, accommodation, tour packages, gifts, and entertainment activities can increase due to increased demand and various factors associated with the festival. However, the differences in goods prices would not be significant compared to the normal time.

What should I wear during Tet holiday?

There is no strict dress code but it is thoughtful to dress modestly and respectfully, especially when visiting temples or attending family gatherings. Vietnamese traditional “ao dai” or suits and long dresses are appropriate attire during this celebration. The weather is pretty cold so you should also wear thick jackets and shoes or boots to get warm.

What is the weather like during this time?

Vietnamese Lunar New Year occurs between late January and mid-February marking the transition from winter to spring. The weather varies across the nation but it is generally pleasant, ideal for outdoor trips, festivities, and cultural celebrations.

In northern Vietnam (Hanoi and mountainous areas), the weather tends to be cool ranging from 15 to 20 Celsius Degree and relatively dry. The region receives minimal rainfall. Central Vietnam (Hue, Danang, Hoi An) experiences milder and warmer temperatures averaging around 20°C to 25°C. In the south, it is much warmer and more humid. Temperatures can range from around 25°C to 30°C or higher. There might be occasional showers or short bursts of rain, but it does not usually last long.

Is it obligatory to give red envelopes or gifts?

Red envelopes or “li xi” are not compulsory but they represent a thoughtful gesture, symbolizing good luck and prosperity. You should send it to your close Vietnamese friends, the elderly, and children.

How many days are stores and offices closed?

The official duration is 7 days but the real business opening time depends on the store and company’s owners. Offices and companies often resume business on time while small shops and stores can open earlier or later upon to their consideration for a lucky and prosperous year.

What are common sentences to wish Vietnamese locals a happy new year?

Common greetings that you can say to Vietnamese people are “Chuc Mung Nam Moi” (Happy New Year) or “Cung Chuc Tan Xuan” (wishing you a prosperous new spring).

How does Tet affect my travel in Vietnam?

You may encounter increased traffic and crowded transportation before and after the holiday. Meanwhile, during this time, most businesses, shops, and government offices are closed so you may not get the service timely. There would also be limited availability of public transport including buses, trains, and flights due to high demand. Therefore, you are advised to book accommodations and other services well in advance.

As a foreigner, are there any specific taboos or customs to be aware of?

You should be conscious of gift-giving, a tradition to exchange lucky money although it is not obligatory. Additionally, it is good to adhere to traditions like greetings, pay respect to elders, cover your legs and shoulders while visiting religious sites, and avoid causing disruptions during religious ceremonies. Understanding changes like business closures, slow-paced services, and immersing in cultural activities are also highly recommended things for you to blend into the nation's most important festival.

Besides, certain taboos are observed, including prohibiting discussions about unfortunate topics such as death or using profanity. Additionally, avoid engaging in arguments or raising voices as it is believed to bring bad luck.

Can foreigners participate in the celebrations?

Yes, foreign visitors are welcome to join. You can engage in local traditions and customs such as visiting temples, exchanging lucky money, and enjoying traditional specialties. You should try to partake in the festivities respectfully by paying respects at temples and pagodas, dressing moderately, and learning some customs like giving and receiving red envelopes or greeting “Chuc Mung Nam Moi” (Happy New Year).

What are the key activities during the occasion?

Before Tet 

23rd of the lunar December is the Kitchen God Day, also known as Tet Ong Cong - Ong Tao, the kitchen gods who protect and govern the works of the family. On this day, Vietnamese people clean the altar, set new offerings, prepare traditional dishes, and release carp as ritual ceremonies to say farewell to these gods and help them on their way back to heaven.

From the 24th to 30th of the lunar December, family members gather to clean, decorate the house, make Chung cake, prepare traditional dish ingredients, five-fruit trays, and visit ancestors’ graves. They also go shopping to buy new clothes, decorative items, and gifts.

During Tet

On New Year’s Eve (30th of lunar December), people give offerings to ancestors’ altar and “xong dat” - the first visit to the house. Afterward, during the five-day holiday, Vietnamese people will visit relatives’ houses, exchange lucky money, go to pagodas, temples, and so on.

After Tet

While resuming normal daily life, Vietnamese people can still continue to take part in spring festivals, enjoy the festive atmosphere, and celebrate Tet Nguyen Tieu on the 15th of the lunar January.

How long does Tet often last in Vietnam?

Tet, or Vietnamese New Year, usually lasts for 7-9 days. However, the preparations for Tet can last for several weeks and the holiday spirit can be felt even longer. The official dates of Tet are determined by the lunar calendar, so it can fall on different days each year.

- 2018: 7 days

- 2019: 9 days

- 2020: 7 days

- 2021: 7 days

- 2022: 9 days

- 2023: 9 days

- 2024: 7 days

When is Tet 2024 and how long is it last?

The 2024 Vietnamese New Year falls on Saturday, February 10, 2024. This is the Year of Dragon and the holiday lasts 7 days from Thursday, February 8 (29th of the lunar December) to Wednesday, February 14 (5th of the lunar January). Yet, the celebration may span up to a month, including preparations, the official holiday, and post-festivities.

Schools, offices, hospitals, and almost all institutions are closed during this time. Expect some convenience stores, groceries, and local markets to open soon after the first day of the lunar year.

How many days are stores closed during Tet?

It really depends on the store owners. Vietnamese small businesses are very strict about their reopening day during the new year, wishing for a lucky and prosperous year ahead. They may visit a fortune teller or check the lunar calendar book and pick the date that best match their zodiac. Some may open on the first day of the year, others will wait until the tenth or even after the First Full Moon Festival (Tet Nguyen Tieu).

Are grocery stores open during Tet Holiday?

Some grocery stores such as Aeon Mall only close briefly on the New Year Day's morning and open from noon until late at night. Vinmart store chains often close on the first day and open on the second day of the new year. It is better you avoid visiting the shopping mall or grocery stores within 2-3 days before Tet holiday as they will be jam-packed with locals making their last minute holiday shopping.

When is Tet 2023?

In 2023, the lunar new year eve will fall on January 21 and new year day on January 22. The actual public holiday is from January 19 to January 26. Expect banks, schools and other public institutions to close during this time.

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R
Rachael

How long is Tet 2024? I plan to visit Vietnam between 09 Feb to 15 feb. should I delay my travel?

4 months, 1 week ago
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L
Lan

@Rachael, Tet 2024 will begin on 10 Feb and will last for about 7 days, if you want to experience the local culture, it is recommended that you travel Vietnam during Tet holiday. Otherwise, you can move up your travel to the date after 19 Feb when all services resume to normal.

4 months, 1 week ago
0
R Rachael replied - 1 reply
M
Momar Mbergan

Very nice

2 years, 1 month ago
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donald nguyen

YOU HAVE THE WRONG DATES FOR TET 2022!!!!!!

2 years, 1 month ago
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M
Mai

Hi there, the date has been updated. Thanks for your information!

2 years, 1 month ago
3
N donald nguyen replied - 1 reply
F
Frank

Chuc Mung Nam Moi from France!

3 years ago
8 REPLY
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T
Ngoc Tran

Do you know where I can get all ingredients for Banh Chung in California?

3 years, 1 month ago
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N
Namia

This restaurant sells all kinds of Vietnamese food: Kim Huong - 8860 Bolsa Ave, Ste C, Westminster, CA 92683. Cheers

3 years ago
4
T Ngoc Tran replied - 1 reply

01:23 Thursday, February 29, 2024 (GMT+7)
Time in Vietnam

Public Holidays 2024

New Year's Day Mon, Jan 01
Vietnamese New Year's Eve Fri, Feb 09
Lunar New Year (Tết) Sat, Feb 10
Hùng Kings' Festival Thu, Apr 18
Reunification Day Tue, Apr 30
Labour Day Wed, May 01
Independence Day of Vietnam Mon, Sep 02

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