Dear friends from Vietnam, on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, we are filled with gratitude when we think of the +10,000 children you help to continue their education every year. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your dedication and invaluable support! Mathilde, Blandine, Agathe and Anh-Liên
THE TET FESTIVAL IN VIETNAM
Vietnam, a country rich in history and tradition, celebrates Tet, the Lunar New Year, every year.
This celebration, one of the most important in the Vietnamese calendar, is a joyous and meaningful opportunity for our godchildren and their families to come together, honour their ancestors and welcome a new year full of promise.
The Tet Festival is deeply rooted in Vietnamese traditions, combining elements of ancestor worship, respect for elders and spiritual beliefs. Preparations often begin several weeks before the official date, with houses being thoroughly cleaned and festive ornaments purchased.
“To me, Têt has a very deep meaning. It’s an opportunity for everyone, all the members of the family, to return to their home village and remember their ancestors. Têt is a joyous occasion to reunite with loved ones and family. That’s why I love Têt so much. It brings us joy, laughter and happiness for everyone.”
TÊT, THE SYMBOL OF RENEWAL
Têt, also known as Tết Nguyên Đán, is based on the lunar calendar and is generally celebrated between late January and mid-February. This year, Têt will take place on 10 February. The festival marks the beginning of spring and symbolises renewal. Vietnamese people often decorate their homes with blooming peach blossoms, kumquats and plum blossom shrubs to attract prosperity and good luck.
“One Tet memory I always remember is the day my mother bought me a new outfit for the first time to celebrate Tet with my brothers and sisters at home.”
Lê Phan Nhât Hoàng
2024, THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON
In Vietnamese culture, each year is associated with one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. In 2022, we were in the Year of the Tiger. This year, we’re entering the Year of the Wooden Dragon! The Dragon is considered a symbol of strength, nobility, power and good fortune. Wood is associated with growth, creativity and the ability to adapt. The Year of the Wooden Dragon should therefore bring luck and prosperity to all our sponsored children!
A central aspect of the Tet celebration is the preparation and sharing of a festive meal with the family. The traditional Tet banquet includes special dishes such as bánh chưng (square sticky rice cake), gio lua (Vietnamese sausage), and a variety of other delicious foods. Families gather around the table to share these tasty dishes while wishing each other luck and happiness for the New Year.
For me, Tet is the day that marks the transition from the past year to the new and the beginning of a good new year. All the sad or difficult stories disappear to make way for the new year.
I love Têt because I can eat lots of delicious food and wear beautiful clothes. On the last days before Têt, my grandmother always makes Têt cakes. When night comes, my grandmother and I, along with the neighbours, gather round the pot in which the banh Têt is cooking and we have a happy chat. Everyone toasts potatoes while we wait for them to cook and we tell each other funny stories.
A FAMILY CELEBRATION FOR THE SPONSORED CHILDREN
During Tet, the Vietnamese attach great importance to family visits. People visit their relatives, carrying symbolic gifts such as flowers, fruit and red envelopes containing money as a sign of good fortune. Temples and pagodas are also popular destinations to pray and ask for blessings for the New Year.
The Tet Festival in Vietnam is much more than a simple celebration of the passage to a new year. It’s a time when our Vietnamese sponsored children honour their roots, express their gratitude to their ancestors and look to the future with optimism!
SUPPORT A PROJECT ON THE OCCASION OF THE TÊT 2024!
In the heart of the Hauts Plateaux, the commune of Kon Hring is home to a population made up mainly of ethnic minorities. Education is a major challenge for young people. Sr Marie Nhi is asking for your generosity to urgently renovate her home for 14 boys, which is in a critical state of disrepair. Your contribution will ensure that the young boys have a dignified environment in which to live and study!
“Tet is very important to me because all my family members come together to stay with my grandparents. The house is packed with people. We get together to eat, tell stories, play games, receive ‘li xi’ from the adults and wish the elderly a happy new year.” Nguyen Tran Thao Vy