The New Year Festival in Vietnam and in America

Topics: New Year, Tết, Vietnam Pages: 5 (2147 words) Published: November 23, 2011
The New Year Festival in Vietnam and in America
Although different countries in the world have different festivals and holidays, there is a momentous event that annually they all eagerly long for. It is the New Year festival which marks the pivotal point of a new period of time with the pure and pristine beginning for individuals. However, each nation has its own traditions, customs and values partly reflected in the celebration of the New Year festival. The ways of holding the festival in Viet Nam and in America are of no exception. The two countries belonging to two geographical locations and cultures share some certain similarities but mostly they show many obvious distinctions in the New Year celebration. Body

The preparation for this event in Vietnam and in America is somewhat similar. Stores and supermarkets are so crowded with many people going to purchase necessaries for the holiday in advance. The most best-seller items in this shopping season are food, drinks and clothes. Vietnamese people also have to buy large amount of food for storing because of the considerable length of the holiday. Moreover, in Viet Nam most of shops will be closed for some days in this occasion. People clean and decorate their home as well to welcome the New Year. Houses often wear a new coat of paint after being decorated. In addition, the New Year trees will be prepared in an attractive design. In America, Christmas trees covering with decorations and colored lights are kept until the New Year festival ends. This kind of ever – green trees are put in their home or outside. Similarly, a branch of peach flower or a kumquat decorated with greeting cards and good luck symbols cannot be absent in each Vietnamese family. The two countries also resembles in their viewpoint on the New Year. They share the same opinion that this important time of transition offers optimism and hope. The New Year’s Day is a wonderful occasion for everybody to share their feelings and express best wishes to their families, relatives and friends. In America culture, the New Year is a time to look back to last year’s achievements and failure and to look forward to a promising new year. Likewise, Vietnamese people consider the New Year a chance to remember the mistakes and plan changes. Even though coming from different cultures, both Vietnamese and American consider New Year a special time which holds great potentials for future brightness. They try to better their lives by making New Year resolutions which is generally a goal set out to accomplish in the coming year. American and Vietnamese have many New Year resolutions in common such as improving health, finance, career, education or self-improving. It proves that New Year's Day is the most active-minded holiday in both countries, because it is the time for people to evaluate their lives and plan and resolve to take action. Despite the similarities, the celebration of the New Year festival in Vietnam and in America has sharp distinctions. Basically, the time occurring this festival and the length of it are not planned to coincide. In general, the Vietnamese New Year festival starts later and lasts longer than the American one. The Vietnamese New Year is called ‘Tet’ (the abbreviation of Tet Nguyen Dan) which means the first morning of the first day of a new period. Tet is also the starting point of a new year on the lunar calendar normally occurring in the last ten days of January according to the western sun – based calendar. On the contrary, the American New Year is held on January 1st – the first day of a new year on the solar calendar. Furthermore, while American take holiday only on one day– the New Year’s Day, Tet in Vietnam lasts for three days. In addition, Vietnamese people are often allowed to enjoy another four days off. In total, there is one week for people to take their holiday, making Tet the longest holiday of the year. The difference in the length of the New...
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