TET, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year
[Music] [Applause] [Music] Vietnam is a country which is located in Southeast Asia. This is a country of more than 90 million people, since 1975 north and south Vietnam become one and then from that time Vietnam has become a country which was Known as the eternal beauty. Right now in Vietnam spring is coming and we have four season spring summer autumn and winter and whenever the spring is coming it is also bringing a new atmosphere to the country because it is coming to our biggest holiday which was called “TET” T E T. A lot of people asked me what is “TET”? a lot of people they think it's a lunar new year or the Chinese new year but in here in Vietnam we prefer to call it TET and that is our biggest holiday, the time for everyone coming back home after a year and then enjoying the happiness and can have good time with their parents, family, friends and then enjoy themselves for about a week that is TET.
Right now as you can see I'm standing in front of an old house. This is the traditional house of Vietnamese people especially people who live in the north of Vietnam. Let's get inside and then I will show you what did they prepare for their “TET”. And now you can see, It's over here this is their living room and you can see there are some board This is some kind of very abstract way of any word or something. That is a calligraphy-the things that they believe can bring them the luck and the happiness for new year.
Right now I'm sitting here and in front of an altar and as you can see this is an old house in Vietnam especially in the northern Vietnam the altar is not only located in the central of the house but also is located in the center of the heart of the Vietnamese people. and “TET” is a time does as you can see a lot of things: fruits, flowers some candies will be displayed on the altar. Today actually is the 29th December of the lunar calendar so this is coming very close to the new year eve “TET” and that's the reason why you can see there are so many things that they prepare on it on the altar normal fruit flowers beautiful flowers and then candies and then biscuits, a lot of things and then they normal go to the local market and then they will start their shopping from that time so I would like to show you what’s the Vietnamese people they often shop for “TET”. Do you want to go with me to the market? Uh you can see the big building which is over here and this is a market which was called Dong Xuan market. This market is actually the biggest in Hanoi even in the North of Vietnam which was built from early of 19th century which is in the Nguyen dynasty in Vietnam 1890 is a time that the French during their time when the colonial they control my country they rebuild this market so that's the reason why you can see the architecture in front of the market is a little bit similar to the French architecture. Until today Dong Xuan market is still the biggest one in Hanoi and it has about like two thousand different shops which divide in different line for their different purchase that you can shop inside and as I told you When TET is coming, people all over the city in Hanoi they prefer to go to the market to shop and then what do they shop? they shop food prepared for the TET they shop candies preparing for inviting the guests during TET and they shop flower for decoration also.
So right now I would love to show you inside Dong Xuan market. Wow as you can see so many things in here and I feel beautiful and surprise at first. You can see there is a lot of things: this is the dried bamboo shoot over here dried shrimp, and this is dried shrimp and cinnamon This is some mushroom this is wooden ears Mushroom. A lot of thing here you can see
they are all the dried stuffs including the glass noodles over here which was made from the root of the arrow tree. Those things can be storage in a very long time. Because during TET all of the shops, markets they will be closed and that's the reason why Vietnamese people we often shop the things that we can storage so we can keep them for TET. All of these things will be our new year food and not only the dried stuff you just saw even the fresh thing. And now you can see we have shrimps we have uh crabs, fish and claims over here they look really good also wow Nice. Uh in Vietnam seafood actually they
are more valuable than beef than chicken than pork so actually in TET to welcome the guests and to have a good meal those things they are the things that they like to eat during TET because they want to start a year with a very valuable meal Look at wow squid very fresh squid and look at all of this some turtle wow crazy this is Vietnam okay and over here you can see on my right hand side some of the very special products special food we prepare for TET. This one we call “BANH CHUNG” and this is a square cake or you can call “CHUNG” cake with the leaf cover outside in the green color so beautiful and the one over here they call “GIO” this is a circle like a meatball those things are the thing we always have in TET. This one standing for the earth and that one standing for the sky so on those day we put those things on our altar this is a way to tell our ancestors on the belief and on the behalf of our family we believe that sky and the earth will be our friends and then we'll bring them luck. in Hanoi and especially in the old quarter which is the place that a lot of people living in a very famous tourist attraction. A lot of street with the word “HANG” as you can see over there H-A-N-G "HANG” it means the line there are 36th streets in the old quarter have the word “HANG” on it so that means all the street all the line selling only one kind of purchase and then “HANG GIAY” this is the street only selling candies, biscuits and this is the street that's a lot of Vietnamese people they come and then they buy the candy preparing the gift for their guests during TET.
[Music] look at all the shops you can see some of the bags over there that is some of the nut and also that is the pumpkin seed and also the sunflower seed those things are the snack that we often give it to our guests when they come to visit us during the day also you can see is over there the yellow bags over there that's a dried jackfruit. Jackfruit is a very special tropical fruit that they also can be dried and then they eat as the snack this is very crunchy this is like the French fried in the west side. Thank you some of the buffs you can see uh they call “MUT” m u and t this is a dried fruit now you can see the white things over there that is the dried coconut and then this is a very traditional snack we often have on “TET” they are my childhood snack when i was small this thing is very valuable of course this is another shop that you can see there are so many dried fruit like plums, apricots over there you even can see the kiwi slides and that is like kind of the berries Vietnamese berry the white things over there coconut wow beautiful this is mango, this is mango and Vietnamese grapes some of the very colorful jelly beer wow jelly bear [Music] because during TET, whenever we come to our friend's house we also bring our kids that's the reason why they prepare the very colorful fruit candy jelly bears it is for the kids for the children so they will enjoy it very much. And besides the food preparation they also preparing for their spirit and you can see it's over here this is a street which was called “HANG MA” and whole district they selling decorations presents they're selling votive money and then they're selling the lucky envelope preparing for the new year this street this is all the way colorful in this season of the year look at those shops as you can see there are so many different envelopes this is a lucky envelope normal and tradition we put a small amount of money inside this envelope and we give to the others as is actually give them a bless, a wish to hope that they will have a very successful year is coming lucky envelopes, beautiful right? and as you can see the decorations they prepare on it not only the red color or the buffalo with the yellow over here also it has some word calligraphy this means whole year successful. Flowers
Flowers they often use is apricot flowers of the cherries the Japanese cherry flowers that is the flowers standing for the spring which is coming. And this year is the year of buffalo, I think you know the Chinese zodiac right? Next year 2021-year of the buffalo so that's the reason why you can see a buffalo here. Lucky envelope is not the only votive things or the spiritual things that they prepare in “TET” We always believe our ancestors live along with us and then they're in the heaven and them to prepare them for that also we have the shop that have the votive money, votive papers that we often burn and then after we burn we believe our ancestor they can use the money, they can use all the clothing in their life in the heaven. This is on my right hand side over here you can see the shop of the old lady that is Benjamin Franklin-100 us dollar but not the real one if you have that you may be millionaire but in the oven not right now not the time and this is clothing but made all from paper very beautiful one of the things besides the lucky envelopes and the votive money that's standing for the spiritual of Vietnamese people.
During “TET” flowers and plants behind me as you can see there are so many plants this is the kumquat, kumquat tree and as you can see with a very beautiful color some orange yellow and even green uh and even some they have flowers over here as you can see the white flowers so colorful for this one it is standing for luck and as you can see the way how Vietnamese people we choose this is not the different in shape on how big they prefer to choose which one that if you look at they always look like hanging up and then to the sky so you can see this is a fruit right and then they are like growing up to the sky this is a very good sign in the spiritual way of Vietnamese thinking this is the best way to pick up the kumquat tree first has big kumquat second this is all the way like looking up to the sky this is how Vietnamese people will pick the kumquat tree Beside kumquat, as I mentioned the cherry blossom, cherry blossom you can see it's over there and as you know it's always blooming in the spring it's a new year and you can see there are so many people they are selling the cherry blossom beautiful and the way how Vietnamese people we pick the branch first we look at and we choose the brand which has a lot of the flower buds because they prefer to keep them in actually one week or even two weeks so each brand that has a lot of the buds like this they prefer to keep it and second they pick up the flowers. And as you can see like the big flower over there they call the double flower so actually it has more than five different wings of the flower on it that it is, means that this is a very beautiful branch so they like to keep this one. This is a very very beautiful brand that I can find in this market I just asked the ladies about the price of this brand and she said that three hundred thousand Vietnam dong so approximate is about like 15 U.S dollar
for one brand like this but for one brand like this you can keep for even two weeks inside your house. How do you think? still a very good deal right? I think As I mentioned before it's about calligraphy you remember right now we are standing in front of a shop and as you can see there is a man, there's a lady trying to do some shopping they shop the letters they shop the sentence and they shop the calligraphy calligraphy as you can see it is the word appear on the red board over here a lot of people ask me is look like Chinese but actually if you look at the first glance Yes it does look like Chinese but it still has the differences in writing, differences in pronunciation and if you compare they are more like Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodoxy. They had some differences but come from one root.
We are standing in the shop, I just asked our calligraphy master that could he give us something and he is also really happy that he could give us a calligraphy for new year. Saying so now right now please look at him and right now we can know about his job. How does he do the calligraphy? Yeah oh wow so this is our present for today and I would love to ask him about like what is the word that he gave to us? so he wished that all of us all over the world will have a peaceful year and then with a lot of health what a word beautiful what a lake this is HOAN KIEM lake and then this is the central of the city also it is the heart of Hanoi including the heart of the people in Hanoi.
As you can see around this lake at this moment they plant so many flowers beautiful and colorful because in the first day of the new year HOAN KIEM lake will be the place where everyone in the city they gather together. They came all over the city to this place taking photos, enjoying the festival and then come to some temple they want to go to the temple in the early of the year first they want to pray and hope that they will have beautiful year, successful a lot of health and everyone can have happiness that's the reason why this place will be very very crowded in a very soon time. Let's go with me we will explore a little bit about HOAN KIEM lake wow after a short walk just about like 400 meter away from the place over there right now over here is on my right hand side you can see this is a temple this is a Taoism temple which was called “NGOC SON” temple it was built actually from the 19th century uh with Vietnamese people especially people who come from Hanoi and who live in Hanoi believe me during this time there will be millions people they will go over the bridge over there to come to the temple and then they start to pray they will pray for the new year not only for themselves for their parents, family, kids friends and then they will pray all of the good things, health. I would go with by myself this year of course and then I also will pray for my family my friend and also for you. That will be something I'm going to do in this year so that is actually “NGOC SON” temple and right now I would like to show you to one place that the place that in the new year if I often take my family too that's a place where we will enjoy the moment which is actually the turning of one year into the new year let's try the start of something new come with me over there Wow so this was a long day a lot of shopping and I have prepared all of the things for the new years for my family I feel very very happy right now and then waiting for the new things that the start something new start of the new year Let's go with me uh by this side of this lake as you can see over here, there will be something in the end of the day I mean that by the new year eve there will be fireworks and all of the people in the city that will gather together enjoying the firework and then they will have the happy starting not happy ending of the year let's come with me to Vietnam, enjoy let's count down to the new year three two and one. Enjoy your fireworks [Music] do [Music] you [Music] [Music]