Journal Entry #1 : Free Writing : My Favorite Holiday As an immigrant from Vietnam living in The United States, I have been celebrating many holidays every year such as July 4th, Christmas, Easter, Labor Day… However, my favorite holiday is still Tet Nguyen Dan, which is usually called Lunar New Year. With the whole family here, we can still celebrate Tet annual as a traditional custom. It is not only a traditional celebration when the new year comes, but also the most important annual celebration in Vietnam.
The season of Tet occurs around the beginning of February and the end of January. During these days, people welcome a new coming year with good health, lucks and success. Tet holiday is the best time of the year for Vietnamese families to reunite and celebrate together. In general, the preparation for Tet takes few weeks before New Year’s Day. All members of families clean and redecorate their houses together. A branch of peach flower or a kumquat tree cannot be absent from every home during these special days.
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Also, we decorate ancestral altars with a five-fruit tray, vegetables, and flowers. In addition, Vietnamese families usually make Chung cake with rice, meat and green beans, which is our country’s traditional food on Tet holiday. Besides, shopping is the most interesting activity before Tet. People buy a lot of candies, cakes, roasted watermelon seeds and sweetened coconut which cannot lack in Tet table to offer guests to eat. During these day, streets and malls are extremely crowded.
As a tradition, everyone needs to have something new to welcome New Year. Therefore, shoppers go to the market, searching for new clothes to wear during the holiday. Children got haircuts and new shoes. Everyone seems satisfied with the things they just buy. On the first day of Tet, people wake up early to come back to their hometown to visit their ancestors’ graves and relatives. It is the best time for families, relatives, and friends come together to celebrate New Year and enjoy the holiday atmosphere with champagne and traditional foods.
From noon on, everybody go to their neighbors’ houses to wish them a happy new year. Children in new clothes are always very excited, because they can get lucky money, which put into a red envelope, from adults after their wishes. In addition, the adults give money to kids to congratulate a new year, and a new age. Traditionally, people often go to churches or pagodas to pray for good things and power to avoid bad lucks.
In conclusion, the Lunar New Year festival, Tet Nguyen Dan, is the most significant holiday for Vietnamese people. Tet is very familiar to Vietnamese people whenever we think about our country. This is the time for family reunion, for festivals, and for people to give love to their loved ones. As for me, I enjoy the warm and cozy Tet’s atmosphere when all members of my family stay and talk together. Even though we are living in a different country, we still celebrate Tet as a traditional custom.