The Origin and Meaning of Lunar New Year: Exploring the Celebration

The vibrant and joyous celebration of Lunar New Year is a festival steeped in tradition and held dearly by the Vietnamese people. This article will explain to you the rich history and symbolism behind this important event - Tet!


1. What is Lunar New Year?

The Lunar New Year, also known as Tet Ca, Tet Ta, Lunar New Year, Traditional New Year, or simply Tet, is the most important and significant Lunar New Year celebration in Vietnam.

“Tet” is the Sino-Vietnamese reading of the word “tie”. “Yuan” according to Chinese characters means the beginning or the beginning and “dan” is early morning, so the correct pronunciation must be “Tiet” Lunar New Year.

What is Lunar New Year?

2. How is the time of the Lunar New Year calculated?

Vietnam’s Lunar New Year is calculated according to the lunar calendar, which is later than the New Year (or Western New Year). The first day of the Lunar New Year is never before January 21 of the solar calendar and after February 19 of the solar calendar. However, it usually falls in the middle of these days due to the rule of 3 leap years and a month of the lunar calendar.

The time of the annual Lunar New Year usually lasts about 7-8 days at the end of the old year and the first 7 days of the new year (from December 23 to the end of January 7).

How is the time of the Lunar New Year calculated?

3. Origins of Lunar New Year

The origin of the Lunar New Year is still a matter of debate. Most information suggests that it originated from China and was introduced to Vietnam during the 1000 years of Northern domination. However, according to the story of “Banh chung and banh day”, Vietnamese people have been celebrating Tet since the Hung Kings, which is before the 1000 years of Northern domination.

Origin of Tet?

4. Meaning of Tet holiday

For Vietnamese people, the Lunar New Year is not only a transition period between the old year and the new lunar year, but it also holds many spiritual and cultural meanings. According to the Eastern concept, this is a period of time when heaven and earth are in harmony, and people become close to the gods.

The old Lunar New Year was an occasion for farmers to pay respects to gods such as the Earth god, Rain god, Thunder god, Water god, Sun god, and pray for a year of favorable rain and wind, and abundant crops.

The meaning of Tet holiday

Besides, the Lunar New Year is considered a “refreshing” day, a day when people can hope for a peaceful, prosperous, and favorable new year for the whole year and put aside all bad luck from the old year. Therefore, during Tet holiday, every house is busy cleaning, shopping, and decorating the house beautifully.

This is also an opportunity for people to renew emotionally and spiritually, so that the relationship with their loved ones is closer, and their spirits are more comfortable and joyful. During the Tet holiday, families often gather to wish each other Tet, light incense together in memory of their grandparents and ancestors, and thank them for their blessings over the past year.

The meaning of Tet holiday

Hopefully, through the above article, you have gained a better understanding of the nation’s Lunar New Year. Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year!