The Lunar New Year, also known as Tết in Vietnam, is one of the most significant holidays in Vietnamese culture. It is a time for family reunions, traditional food, and paying respect to ancestors. The most important day of the celebration is Giao Thừa, which falls on the eve of the Lunar New Year.
Giao Thừa is a time when families gather together to welcome the new year and say goodbye to the old. It is believed that how you spend Giao Thừa will influence your luck and fortune for the rest of the year. Therefore, it is essential to follow certain customs and traditions during this time.
One of the most significant customs of Giao Thừa is the ancestral worship. It is a way of showing respect and gratitude to our ancestors, who have passed away. Families will prepare a tray of offerings, including fruits, flowers, and incense, and place it on the ancestral altar. They will then burn incense and offer prayers, asking for blessings and protection from their ancestors.
Another important tradition of Giao Thừa is the “first-footing” ceremony. It is believed that the first person to enter the house on Giao Thừa will bring luck and prosperity to the family. Therefore, families will choose a person who is considered lucky, such as a successful businessman or a well-respected elder, to be the first to enter the house. They will also prepare a tray of offerings for the first-footer, including fruits, sweets, and red envelopes filled with lucky money.
Food is also an integral part of Giao Thừa. Families will prepare a feast of traditional dishes, such as bánh chưng, bánh tét, and