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February 2019

Chúc mừng năm mới! (Happy new (lunar) year!)

For the past month I have been hearing about the upcoming 'Tết Nguyên Đán', which is Sino-Vietnamese for 'Feast of the First Morning of the First Day'. “Tet” as it is called colloquially, is the festival the Vietnamese celebrate to welcome the new Lunar year and reflect back on their lives during the previous Lunar year. The Lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon and begins with the new moon, which interestingly, is when the moon is between Earth and the sun, and the side of the moon facing earth receives no direct sunlight; only reflected sunlight from Earth. As with any cultural event, opinions and perspectives vary. Then of course, because we are talking about Việt Nam, you have to factor in the distinct cultural differences between the north, central and southern regions of this amazing “S” shaped country. So, rather than try to explain this wonderful holiday season here are some websites to help you get the real story:

1. Traditional trees: 

2. Traditional food: 

3. Traditional activities:

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