Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tet Is A Vietnamese Celebration That Deserves Widespread Participation

Van Nguyen / youthjournalism.org
Tet decorations at the Van Mieu complex in Hanoi
By Van Nguyen
Junior Reporter
HANOI, Vietnam – Tet is a special occasion that brings family members a weeklong embrace and gives us Vietnamese people precious chances to unwind.
After the important first day of New Year, the next ones are when we can go out together and have blissful moments.
As spring comes, Hanoi is seemingly coated with a colorfully flowered shirt.
The flower market, which plays an integral role in Hanoi’s open air market, floods various streets from Hang Luoc, Hang Cot, Hang Khoai, along Hang Ma to Phung Hung, making it a wonderful place to explore.
Roses in many shapes and colors strive to bloom; dreamy violets gently shine amid the vibrant atmosphere at Tet while fragile dahlia generate vague regret.
Van Nguyen / youthjournalism.org
Countless beautiful flowers at the flower market in Hanoi
The flower market leads visitors to be close to nature, enjoy the coldness of Hanoi and relish the dazzling beauty of blossoms simultaneously. It’s like Hanoians from all walks of life get together at the flower market while busily preparing for a promising year. They come not only to behold nature’s gifts providing them with seven brilliant days but also to socialize with others and make friends.
Van Nguyen / youthjournalism.org
The gentle daisy at the flower market
Although the flower market takes place annually, it has its own feature every year and is overcrowded with buyers and sellers.
While recreational venues in Hanoi like Thong Nhat Park and Thu Le Zoo are surprisingly quiet at Tet, thousands of people enthusiastically line up to get a ticket to the Temple of Literature. Foreigners are also here in a desire to know more about the customs of this little S-shaped country.
Van Nguyen / youthjournalism.org
Some of the 82 steles at the Temple of

Literature at Van Mieu
The Temple of Literature, built during the Ly dynasty and located to the South of Thang Long Citadel, is the first university in Vietnam. It is now regarded as a national monument, with 82 steles, or stone markers, officially being recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO.
We visit the Temple of Literature for luck, for excellent study results, or for national security.
If the area outside the temple is bustling with people passionately touching the turtles’ heads and dropping red coins to get a “lucky” year, inside is buzzing with those worshipping Confucius and his disciples in the hope of passing the examinations.
Van Nguyen / youthjournalism.org
A man does calligraphy as part of

the Tet celebration
The Temple of Literature also introduces funny folk games as well as many forms of folk songs in Vietnam such as tuong, cheo, ca tru, quan ho and the like. Another cultural characteristic in the Temple of Literature is calligraphy. Calligraphy brings the unique flavor of Tet and has been etched in Vietnamese people’s minds.
For those with an interest in culture and history, the Old Quarter is a not-to-be-missed destination at Lunar New Year Festival.
Hanoi’s Old Quarter is an architectural ensemble, where streets are filled with merchants and experts in specific trades such as silk, jewelry and other traditional artisan crafts.
Daily activities of urban residents take place here: production, sales, recreation and festivals, creating strong vitality and continuous development to the old town. It makes a lasting impression as a place with a fairly comprehensive urban life in business, society, customs and dynamism.
During the Tet holiday, the Old Quarter is brimming with life, noisier than usual. Numerous goods are exchanged and people amble from one spot to another, causing the streets to be narrower but more delightful. To my way of thinking, the 36 streets in the Old Quarter are an extraordinary combination of contrast – ancient versus modern and serene versus lively.
You know, it is really easy to experience a meaningful Lunar New Year Festival. Get a move and start your journey, right now.

For more from Hanoi teens about 2013 Tet, see:

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