Everyone turns a year older on the day they were born, but the Vietnamese calculate ages and birthdays in a different way. Did you know that there’s one particular day when every Vietnamese turns a year older? It’s a Vietnamese tradition called the Tet Nguyen Dan or just Tet Celebration for short. On this special day, everyone adds a year to their age because it is the universal birthday that all of Vietnam celebrates.

All About The Tet Celebration

Tet Nguyen Dan translates to “the first morning of the first day”. It is equivalent to celebrating the Lunar New Year, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, and birthday celebrations all wrapped into one. As said, everyone in Vietnam turns a year older during Tet, but the festivities are not dedicated to everyone turning a year older.

Why Is Tet Celebrated?

Tet is celebrated because it marks the arrival of spring on the Vietnamese calendar. It symbolizes new beginnings. All Vietnamese believe that whatever you do during Tet celebration will be carried throughout the entire year. For example, if you are positive and happy during Tet, the rest of your year will also be positive and happy. This is why every Vietnamese is in a good mood on the day of Tet. Negative actions and moods are avoided as the day is greeted with feasts and different sorts of feel-good actions.

How Is Tet Celebrated?

As mentioned, families prepare feasts during Tet. They wear native attires that are brand new. The streets are lined with vendors selling fruits and flowers in preparation for the eve of Tet. On the eve itself, bells ring at the temples and prayers are chanted. Families congratulate each other for turning a year older, and the streets are bustling with firecrackers and people celebrating the entrance of the new year.

It wouldn’t be a birthday without gifts, right? Children receive Mung Tuoi which is a gift giving ritual elders practice. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles give children “lucky” money inside a red envelope and then offer them well-wishes and wisdom for the coming year.

So, How About Regular Birthdays?

Surprisingly, the day when a Vietnamese is born is just another regular day. However, more and more families are celebrating birthdays like in the West. It’s not a big deal as Tet, though. This is why everyone’s Vietnamese age has one or two additional years depending on the date. For example, let’s say you’re 24 years old. If Tet celebration is going to happen tomorrow, you’d be 25. If your birthday happens two weeks after Tet, then you can add another year to your Vietnamese age.

For more interesting posts about the Asian culture, check out other posts on the blog. Don’t forget to visit Asian Date to find beautiful Vietnamese women to celebrate Tet, some other Vietnamese tradition or a new beginning with.