In the spirit

Enterprises, media, and local authorities all work hard on promoting Vietnam’s traditional culture during Tet.

By Le Diem on February 12,2018 10:14 AM

In the spirit

Photos: Kenhhomestay, Grapes House.

Everywhere around Vietnam, no matter where you may find yourself, is covered with a traditional festive atmosphere to welcome in the Tet holidays and the new lunar year. 

Many visitors to a recent 2018 calendar exhibition in HCMC were interested in the new collections from the country’s biggest and best calendar makers. Block calendars tell stories about Vietnam’s traditional culture, history and landscapes, and are one of many efforts by enterprises, the media, and local authorities around Vietnam to promote traditional culture that has existed for thousands of years in celebration of the Tet holiday.

One of the most impressive this year is a 365-page ‘tear-off’ calendar from An Hao Ltd. It features 365 paintings of natural wonders on the World Heritage list, historical relics, festivals, arts, costumes from different regions, food, traditional trade villages, popular customs, famous people in history, and daily activities. It’s the biggest among calendars on sale, at 40 x 60 cm.

The company also offers two additional calendars: one telling dozens of Vietnamese folk tales and legends for kids, and the other on more than a hundred folk games.

Intangible heritages of Vietnam and the world are also featured in two large block calendars from Song Hanh Ltd, while the country’s beautiful landscapes during the four seasons are depicted in the calendars of the Nhat Thong Company.

In the spirit

‘Calendars for 2018 are not only beautiful but also have useful information on Vietnam’s people and culture,’ said Thuy Duong, a visitor at the exhibition. ‘My son likes them a lot, especially the one with the folk tales. They are also unique gifts for relatives and friends in the new year.’

Tet is prominent in local media at this time, of course, from online and print newspapers and magazines to TV, featuring everything about the new year, such as the traditions and meaning of Tet in the lives of Vietnamese, customs during Tet, traditional food from the country’s three regions, and how people prepare to visit their homeland to welcome Tet with their families.

Tuyet Mai, a 30-year-old receptionist, finds it all still quite interesting despite experiencing many Tet holidays. ‘There is still something new about it,’ she said. ‘It helps remind the younger generation of traditional values. For example, the custom of purchasing and displaying a kumquat tree at home during Tet is long standing, but this year there are trees on sale in the shape of a dog, as it’s the Year of the Dog. It’s all great fun.’

Along with news items in the media, advertisements honouring and promoting the traditional values of gathering together and spending time with the family during Tet are also readily found.

For example, Coca-Cola added a new design on its products, of images of a family of swallows. This represents the warm family ambiance found in Vietnam during Tet, according to the company. Similarly, some Nestle products depict a happy dinner attended by all members of the family. Pepsi, meanwhile, encourages family members to turn off the wi-fi, disconnect from social media and connect with their family, all while enjoying cans of Pepsi.

Some local media have also organised charity programs to support people in difficult circumstances during Tet. For 17 years, the ‘Tet for the Poor’ program of the Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper has presented daily necessities to the poor around the country, especially in areas hit by natural disasters and to kids with incurable diseases. The ‘Sharing Hand to Bring Tet Together’ program of VnExpress, one of the leading online daily newspapers in the country, called for a fund to present 1,000 gifts to people with leprosy and orphans and disabled children with no family to get together with at Tet.

Meanwhile, many with a family waiting for them at home but finding it hard to return for financial reasons also receive support from arrangements between certain enterprises and local authorities.

The Ministry of Transport directed transport companies not to increase their ticket prices during Tet. The cost of getting home for Tet has become major concern for many over recent years, as affordable tickets are sold out and the alternatives are expensive. Bus stations are more packed than ever, as increasing numbers of country folk have headed to cities in search of work or for studies, and are keen to get home for the holidays.

Discount tickets are also being offered to students and low-income earners, so they may visit their hometown for Tet. Saigon Railway Transport is offering a 20-50% discount on ‘early bird’ tickets, purchased 20 to 50 days in advance for trips of more than 1,000 km. VeXeRe Ltd, meanwhile, has launched a program ‘Supporting Tet Fares’, for 30,000 students from the first 30 universities to register.

The Hanoi Federation of Labour has cooperated with enterprises to organise free trips for their employees to return to their homeland, which can be as far away as Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces in the north-central region. Last year, 650 trips were organised, taking nearly 30,000 workers at industrial zones home for Tet. This year the federation has presented them with gifts for Tet, totalling VND15.2 billion ($667,800).

In addition, many activities on culture, history and traditional arts will take place in major cities during the Tet holidays. Vietnamese pop music and traditional music will be performed on Tet Eve in public places in the centre of Hanoi, Hue, Danang and HCMC.

In Hanoi, there will be also a Vietnamese film series screened at cinemas during Tet and a traditional arts performance in the heart of the city. The capital’s districts and wards are required to organise cultural and artistic activities in public places and to open cultural and historical relics for people to visit.  In Danang and nearby Hoi An ancient town, highlights will include a photo exhibition with the theme ‘Old and New Tet in Hoi An’, folk games for kids, folk singing contests, boat races, and the planting of new tree; a Tet tradition. HCMC will have a flower market and a traditional cake festival will open in honour of the custom of cleaning and decorating houses for Tet. A photo exhibition celebrating 50 years since the Tet Offensive, one of the largest military campaigns of the American War, in 1968, will also be held.

Everywhere around Vietnam, no matter where you may find yourself, is covered with a traditional festive atmosphere to welcome in the Tet holidays and the new lunar year. 

All Comments (0)

Other news

Tales of Tet

10AM, 08 February

Tet can be an unusual experience for tourists and expats in Vietnam and for myriad reasons.

  • VnEconomy - Nhịp sống kinh tế Việt Nam và thế giới

Vietnam EconomicTimes © 2014. All right reserved

An electronic media of Vietnam Economic Times - Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam.

Other publications of the contents this website as well as their reproductions must be approved in writing by Vietnam Economic Times.

Editor-in-Chief: Professor Dao Nguyen Cat

Licence No 04/GP-PTTH&TTDT on April 23,2014

Head Office: 98 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay District, Hanoi

Tel: (84-24) 375 2050 / Fax: (84-24) 3755 2058

Email: info.theguide@tbkt.vn ; editortheguide@gmail.com