Happy New Year!
Today is the Lunar New Year, also known as Tết in Vietnamese. Being an American born Vietnamese, having visited Vietnam only once in my life, I’m still learning new things every year about this holiday. This year, I learned that it’s good to eat duck the day before new years, but not the day after. Good thing I got my duck fix last night in the form of a Thai appetizer!
For me, the holiday is often about frantic house cleaning before Tết hits (I like to assume that the Lunar New Year follows whatever time zone I’m in), and eating lots of symbolic food the day of. All debts should be paid off. There is to be no fighting on Tết, no throwing out of trash on Tết, and no working (unless, in my case, it’s symbolically a good thing). Adults hand out red envelopes (lì xì) to children and wish them fortunes for the year. Children say thank you and wish fortunes in return. My memorized Vietnamese saying would wish health, happiness, and everything you desire.
In the end, for me, the best part of the Tết is being with the family, playing games, and eating the special foods. I’m sad to not be with my family and relatives this year, but my sister is making up for it by making delicious foods.
Let’s go Year of the Tiger! Rawr!
Bun Thang, the “Ladder Soup”. Means you’ll be climbing the ladder in life.
Banh Chung. My favorite. Just like Moon Cakes in the Mid Autumn Moon Festival, you don’t find these unless it’s Lunar New Year. So good!
I’m not sure if Chả Cá has anything to do with New Years, other than that it’s special and not commonly made. I’m not complaining though. YUM.