Saigon tourism authority to organize Tet festival

By Dang Khoa   November 17, 2019 | 06:28 am PT
Saigon tourism authority to organize Tet festival
A corner of Pham Ngoc Thach Street in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 in January 2019, several days ahead of the The Year of the Pig. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC's tourism department will host a Lunar New Year festival on January 3-5 at the Le Van Tam Park in District 1, 20 days before the country's official Tet holiday.

The department said the celebration, named "Tet Festival", would be the first of its kind in the city, honoring and promoting Tet customs, Tet cuisine and folk games.

It will feature many rituals associated with the country's biggest traditional holiday, including making offerings to ancestors, making banh chung (traditional sticky rice cakes filled with mung beans and pork) and having the Tet pole ceremony.

The Tet pole or neu, an important rite at many places across the country, heralds the Lunar New Year is coming. The long bamboo pole is traditionally placed in front of the house to prevent evils from invading the house’s spirit, to pray for a good crop and to seek happiness, prosperity and longevity.

Visitors will be able to try traditional Tet dishes and staples from different regions, prepared by chefs from the Top Chef Vietnam 2019 television show.

The event, co-organized by the Vietnam Culinary Culture Association, will also have a market space with 100 booths selling different Tet items. 

It will start from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. across the three days and is expected to attract 40,000 guests.

The government has approved a seven-day Tet holiday that will start January 23, two days before the Lunar New Year's Eve.

Government offices and state-owned companies will close for seven days from January 23 to 29. Schools and other businesses across the country usually follow the same break as government offices.

Tet is the biggest festival in Vietnam. It is the most important time for family union and gathering. Millions of migrant workers in major cities return to their homes in the countryside before Lunar New Year's Eve.

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