In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is called Tết, short for Tết Nguyên Đán (Festival of the First Day of the Year), which is divided into three time periods: Tất niên (celebrations before the end of the year), Giao thừa (New Year’s Eve), and Năm mới (New Year).
2023 ushers in the Year of the Cat in Vietnam. People born in the Year of the Cat can often be described as cautious and peaceful. Cats are honest and tend to be quick thinkers, making them especially sought after in business settings. Like felines, people born in the Year of the Cat excel at thinking on their feet.
Unlike in the United States, the New Year is not celebrated in just one day.
To prepare for the New Year, homes are decorated with beautiful flowers like the peach blossom and apricot blossom. Families may also clean their homes and cook special foods like thit kho trung and mam ngu qua, which will take center stage on the Tết altar. With preparations complete, revelers will visit family and friends, hand out lucky money to children, and worship their ancestors.
In China, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit and, as in Vietnam, cleaning and cooking special foods help to prepare for the holiday. Homes are cleaned ahead of celebrations, and traditional foods are cooked. One of the most important foods is the dumpling since they are associated with wealth. Before eating the dumplings, diners will say, “Bring in wealth and treasure!”
People born in the Year of the Rabbit are known for being clever and steadfast, able to overcome adversity. For those born under this sign, that can perhaps mean being born to poverty but manage to accrue wealth later in life. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be polite, organized, and tend to avoid conflict. Professionally, they are creative, often able to think outside the box.
Because they are extremely social by nature, networking comes easily, as well as careers that allow for a great deal of interaction. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a Rabbit organizing the company potluck or chatting by the water cooler.
To all of our friends who celebrate, we wish you all a Happy Lunar New Year and a prosperous 2023!