What is Lunar New Year? Origin and meaning of the lunar new year
Once a year, at the end of the year, people from all over the world would return to their hometowns to be reunited with their families for the holidays. It is the biggest holiday of the year for Vietnam as well as other countries of East Asia like China, Japan, etc. So what does the Lunar New Year mean? Join Nguyen Kim to learn more useful information through this article!
What is Lunar New Year?
Lunar New Year is the most important holiday of the year for Vietnamese people, counted at the beginning of the lunar year, Lunar New Year often has many different names such as: Tet Ca, Lunar New Year, Tet Ta, and Traditional New Year. ,
Chinese – According to the transliteration of Vietnamese characters, “tet” in Chinese characters is the period, in Chinese characters “yuan” would be the beginning, and “dan” means morning. Therefore, the most correct way to read the version according to the Sino-Vietnamese sound is Lunar New Year.
How is the time of the Lunar New Year calculated?
Calculations of the Lunar New Year begin on the first day of the lunar year, usually 1 to 2 months later than the new year due to the rule of 3 leap years and 1 month of the lunar year. So the start time of the Lunar New Year will be in the period from January 21 to February 9.
The Lunar New Year occurs at a time when farmers are idle, taking rest to prepare for a new crop. Because traditionally, most people in Vietnam are farmers, when you have free time, you’ll have an upbeat mindset, ready for days of hard work.
What is the origin of the Lunar New Year?
The origin of the Lunar New Year is still controversial today. Most information would assume that the Lunar New Year originated in China and was introduced to Vietnam at the time of 1000 years of northern domination. However, according to the Vietnamese historical fairy tale “Banh Chung and the Ban Days”, the occasion has occurred to the Vietnamese people since the reign of King Hung, that is, 1000 years before the northern dominions.
As Confucius wrote “I do not know what Tet is, I have heard that this man is the name of a great festival of people, they dance like crazy, drink and have fun in those days”, then From. It may also be speculated that the Lunar New Year started in Vietnam.
Although there are many disputes regarding the origin of the Lunar New Year, originating from Vietnam or China, it can be seen that each country has its own characteristics of the Lunar New Year and is an important holiday for the people.
What does the traditional Tet holiday mean?
Lunar New Year is a time of intercession between heaven and earth
The Lunar New Year is considered a time to show the intercession between heaven and earth, gods and humans. Tet in the Lunar New Year means that the season (here representing the season) would operate according to the 4 seasons in the year of Spring – Summer – Autumn – Winter, a cycle that ends and has special meaning for the ancient economy. is when mainly based on agriculture.
Lunar New Year is an occasion to pay respect to ancestors
It can be said that this is the most important occasion of the year when the descendants of the family would gather to prepare and offer trays of rice and five fruits at the altars of the ancestors.
According to the ancient concept, on this holiday, ancestors would come home with their children and grandchildren to celebrate Tet and bless their families with better health and harmony.
Lunar New Year is a day of luck and hope
The new year marks a new beginning, so every new year comes, people often invite each other to the temple to offer blessings and best wishes for the year ahead.
From the past until now, there has always been a belief that the arrival of the Lunar New Year will wash away the misfortunes of the old year and welcome better hopes for the new year. Hence, it is the time chosen by many to start work for the year and a good time to start a business for the luck of the new year.
Lunar New Year is a time for families to gather together
Not all families can be close to each other, so the Lunar New Year is the time when everyone in the family hopes to be reunited with their loved ones. It’s everyone’s dream to be together around a pot of Ban Chung on New Year’s Eve.
In addition, it is also a time to thank grandparents and parents for children and grandchildren who have given birth and raised them with the most sincere affection or simply with gifts for Tet.
Lunar New Year is an occasion to pay respect to the gods
From ancient times to the present day, Vietnamese people attach great importance to ancestor worship to bless the family. People pay the most attention on this occasion, according to folk beliefs, farmers will express their gratitude to the god of rain, the god of earth, the god of the sun, etc., who have helped them in the last year.
Tate is everyone’s birthday
“Happy New Year”: This is a familiar saying from grandparents, parents, and aunts when wishing each other a Happy New Year to celebrate another year.
On this occasion, people will send greetings to each other in the hope of a better new year. Adults will celebrate the age of elders and children to wish them long and healthy life, while grandchildren will grow up quickly, obediently, and study well.
Customs and Habits of the Vietnamese People During the Lunar New Year
Prayer to Mr. Congress, Mr. Tao
On 23 December every year, before the Lunar New Year. On this day, each family will clean the kitchen, then prepare a tray of fruits, and salty foods and release a carp. The aim is to prepare Mr. Kang and Mr. Tao to go to heaven so that the events in the family over the past year can be reported to the court.
Bun Chung, Bun Tete Buns
Market shops are packed with stalls selling dong leaves, banana leaves, and bamboo tubes to serve up cake wrapping on the Tet holiday on the occasion of Tet to Spring. Because Chưng cake, Tét cake are two traditional cakes that are on the list of indispensable tet recipes to offer to ancestors’ altars or as tet gifts to people or friends.
In some areas, people still maintain the habit that before Tet, the families of their clans and neighbors would gather together to wrap cakes, boil cakes, and chat all night. It is worthwhile to note that the tradition of Chưng cake and Tét cake wrapping on the Tet holiday still persists and is passed on to subsequent generations.
Clean the house
For Vietnamese people cleaning the house at the end of each year means taking away the bad things from the old year and preparing to welcome luck and fortune for the new year. Hence, it is also an opportunity for the family members to clean and refresh the items in their homes.
In addition, to decorate their homes to welcome Tet, Vietnamese people also buy a lot of flowers to decorate Tet with different colors and meanings such as: the Thu Tien flower, Dong Tien flower, and Chrysanthemum flower, …
Fruit tray presentation
A tray of five fruits is an obligatory attribute to offer on the altar of ancestors during the Lunar New Year holiday, it shows the respect and gratitude of the descendants of the family towards superiors.
Each area will have five fruit trays as well as different ways to decorate different types of fruits. However, they all have a common meaning to wish the new year to be more fortunate and more peaceful than the old year.
This is a custom that takes place in the days leading up to the Lunar New Year. On this day, descendants of the family will gather at the graves of their ancestors to clean the grave as well as travel. This custom shows the respect and only piety of descendants towards their parents, grandparents and deceased ancestors.
Year end offerings
New Year’s Eve gifts are a long-standing tradition of the Vietnamese nation. It is an important ritual that is usually performed on the 30th day of Tet to invite ancestors to celebrate Tet with their families. Also, it is a milestone marking the time when the old year is over to prepare for a happier and more prosperous new year.
After New Year’s Eve to welcome the new year, the first person to enter the house will be a ground-breaker for the family. As per the concept from the past till now, the person breaking the ground should be the one who matches the age of the owner to bring the family a favorable business year, good health, and a harmonious family.
Happy New Year, Happy Age
The arrival of the New Year is a symbol of when each person will be one year old, so everyone will wish each other the best of luck in the hope of a more successful New Year. Usually, on the first day of the Lunar New Year, children and grandchildren will come to celebrate the age of the grandparents, then adults will give red envelopes to the children for a lucky new year and better study.
This article presents the meaning of the Lunar New Year and the popular Tet activities of the Vietnamese people. Hope you know more about the traditional Tet holiday here and wish you a comfortable Tet with your family!