Explore the Unique Features of Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Three Regions in Vietnam

As the end of the year approaches, Vietnamese families come together to celebrate the traditional New Year's Eve. Celebrations vary from region to region, so what are some of the unique customs? Read on to learn more about this special tradition!

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1 What is New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve is a ceremonial ritual that marks the end of a year and the preparation for the new year. It can be a year-end party or festival in Western culture, as well as a part of the Tet ritual in Vietnam that occurs on the last days of the lunar year, either December 30 (for a full year) or December 29 (for a leap year).

What is New Year's Eve?

During New Year’s Eve, people gather in the afternoon and evening to make offerings and prepare a party to welcome the new year. This tradition reflects the cultural beauty of the Vietnamese people and provides an opportunity for family members to come together, reflect on the past year, and look forward to a better future.

2 Why do we often organize New Year’s Eve at the end of the year?

New Year’s Eve is often organized to bring family members together for a year-end meal, allowing them to reconnect, reminisce about the past year, and anticipate a brighter future. Depending on regional customs, the event may also include inviting friends and relatives to join the celebration.

Why do we often organize New Year's Eve at the end of the year?

3 Unique New Year’s Eve customs in three regions

The New Year’s Eve customs in the North, Central, and South of Vietnam each have their own characteristics, but they all reflect the cultural identity of the Vietnamese people. Traditional dishes with typical Vietnamese flavors are commonly prepared for the offerings.

Traditions in the North

In the North, the New Year’s Eve offering tray typically includes chicken, spring rolls, cinnamon rolls, pork, sticky rice with gac, and various other dishes such as stewed pork leg with bamboo shoots, drop ball soup, vermicelli, and sprouted mushrooms.

Traditions in the North

Customs in the Central region

In the Central region, the offering tray may include savory dishes like pork, chicken, stir-fried dishes, and soups. It is common to have Hue vermicelli, frozen meat, Hue rolls, pickled dishes, dried bamboo shoot soup, fried fish, and other delicacies.

Customs in the Central region

Customs in the South

In the South, a typical New Year’s Eve offering includes a tray of fruits, incense, flowers, paper money, candles, betel nut, tea, wine, Chung cake, and either vegetarian or savory dishes. If savory dishes are prepared, they may include radish soaked in fish sauce, cooked bamboo shoot soup, bitter melon soup stuffed with meat, braised meat, shrimp and meat salad, and various other dishes.

Southern New Year's Day tray

Each region has its own unique customs for the New Year’s Eve offerings, but they all reflect the traditional Tet culture of Vietnam.

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