New Year’s Eve of a Vietnamese family

(VOVworld) – New Year’s Eve is so meaningful to the Vietnamese that no matter where they are, whatever job they do, they try to be available at the family feast on the threshold of Tet or Lunar New Year.  This is a sacred moment when all members recall last year’s performance and think about New Year’s resolutions.

New Year’s Eve of a Vietnamese family - ảnh 1
A family feast on New Year's Eve

On New Year’ Eve, people enjoy at their leisure everything they have: the cozy, warm atmosphere, the wishes of each other, silent moments to reflect the past, and an eagerness to  welcome a New Year full of hope and joy.                                              

This year, as in previous years, Mr. Nguyen Van Binh’s descendants gather in his house in Gia Thuy village, Long Bien district, Hanoi. They visit their relatives’ graves and burned incense to invite ancestors to enjoy Tet with them. This centuries-old custom shows people’s respect for their dead predecessors, forging closer bonds between the living.” Mr. Binh told VOV:"At the end of the year, my family cleans up the graves and arranges a tray of food to invite them return to earth to celebrate Tet with us. I also teach my children and grandchildren to preserve family traditions.”

It’s most exciting when the women prepare food to offer to ancestors. Grandmothers and mothers instruct their offspring in how to cook traditional dishes and display the food tray. Vu Thi Tinh is a resident of Gia Thuy village:"My family’s New Year’s Eve food tray always includes Banh Chung (square sticky rice cakes) and sugar cakes, which are traditional dishes. There are also bamboo shoots’ broth, fried pork and vegetables, and spring rolls. All of us are happy to cook food and offer them to the ancestors and gods.”

While women cook, men clean the altar, trim ornamental trees, and prepare wine and tea. The older people are the happiest because every family member is together in their home. Vu Thi Chat is one of them:"I love Tet so much. I feel happy when having my offspring gather around me.”

The New Year’s Eve food tray should be the most ample of the year. After being offered to the ancestors and gods, it is eaten by all in the family. Raising a toast and wishing each other good health, good luck, and happiness, the feast should not be missed by anybody.