Why does Tet always begin so late?

By Le Pham   October 3, 2023 | 04:48 pm PT
Why does Tet always begin so late?
People buy flower during the Lunar New Year holiday on January 31, 2022 in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Just before the new year, people often cut working hours to go shopping for Tet preparations. So why not take an earlier break to avoid the unnecessary stress?

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs is seeking opinions from various sectors on two options for the upcoming Tet holiday, both lasting seven days, differing only in the time off from either the 29th or 30th, the second last or last day of the lunar year. Looking back at the Tet holidays from 2015 until now, most of the holidays began very close to Tet, just one or two days away. Many workers want to have an earlier break before the holiday arrives.

"Europe is gradually adopting the model of working only four days a week (meaning three days off every week). I feel so jealous, but our country is still poor so we have to work harder. In Vietnam, even though we get to have long holidays for Tet, we have to work right up until the last minute. In reality, everyone is in a rush as Tet approaches. Starting from the 25th of the lunar month, everyone has to squeeze time in to go shopping and everyone is in a hurry. That takes away the meaning of Tet. Personally, I no longer feel excited about Tet because it's more tiring than enjoyable."

"In my opinion, Vietnam should increase the number of days off for Tet. In reality, there isn't much work to do in the last few days of the year. Taking a break so close to Tet can be very difficult for people living in distant localities. Many people can't return to their hometowns for Tet because they can't buy train or bus tickets in time. Near the end of the year, everyone rushes to go shopping, causing severe traffic jams. I get exhausted when driving on the roads on those days. Moreover, families need to clean their houses and prepare things togethere before the holiday. Therefore, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs should consider giving workers an earlier Tet holiday."

"The time before Tet is when people do a lot of shopping, and supermarkets also provide discounts on various items. This is a great opportunity to boost the economy. Yet, we keep trying to squeeze in one or two more working days. As a result, people end up scrambling and shops would raise prices, which is very inconvenient."
Binh Luan

"For the economy to grow, we need to promote people's purchasing power. If workers get an earlier Tet holiday, they will be able to go shopping for more things and have time to choose products that suit their situations. People will also have more time to enjoy themselves, so they will spend more money. After the holiday, people will have the energy and morale to work harder and more productively."

"Taking a break too close to Tet is very impractical. Our company used to work until just a few days before Tet, sometimes even until the last day of the year. However, after receiving feedback from employees, our work was rescheduled to allow employees to have an earlier break. Since then, no one has felt too much pressure in preparing for Tet anymore. The government should allow workers to have an earlier Tet break and the official holiday schedule should be announced at the beginning of the year."
Nguyen Manh

"We need to arrange the holiday more reasonably. There is only one Tet holiday in a year to reunite with one's family, and not to mention that before Tet, there are many things to do such as buying items or refurbishing family graves and homes. In my opinion, workers should have a break starting four days before Tet. Alternatively, consider shortening some of the long holidays in the year by one or two days to allow people to have an earlier break for Tet, which would be much more reasonable."
Trong Tien

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