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A Family Celebrates the Vietnamese New Year - Part 3 of 3

Uyen Thanh from Vietnam

The first day of New Year began at 8:00 a.m. with traditional activities. My Dad woke up early and was usually the first member in the hall. Impatiently waiting for the rising sun, I just could sleep with one eye and get up early, too. From the upstairs, while dressing, I could hear the voices of people downstairs It increased, increased with the loud voice of my fifth uncle and his family, and then sixth uncle's family finally became noisy.

"Happy New Year!"

"Happy New Year!"

Everybody was greeting together and made a chaos tic sound that was not able to be distinguished. When I came to the hall, I saw a jubilant view of people and food, the color of new clothes, the brightness in the eyes, and happy faces.

The table was attractive with the yellow of Vietnamese New Year traditional flowers, the red of watermelon, the green and yellow of rice cake, the colorful pickled bean sprouts and many kinds of jam. You also could smell combinations of delicious food of pork, fish, and eggs. All of these traditional foods were our first meal in New Year.

The sound became nosier while children were getting in line to receive lucky money from adults. However, after a few minutes, the line was broken and became a beehive of people. Children were running around the hall, shouting, and laughing with their money in hand. At the dinner table, the roar of laughter from the men, the chortle from the ladies, the cheering sound, and the music from CD player were so animated. The party was continued all day at any time.

Next, the gambling was started at noon and dragged on until night. That's the time when people are looking forward to the luck and happiness for whole year. This sound only decreased gradually around 9:00 p.m. since guests were leaving randomly.

Finally, the house was empty and became quiet again, but the dishes and cups were found thrown in different places, on the table, on the chairs, even on the floor. "Are they our present tonight?" my sister and I wondered happily.

The silent night ended the first New Year day. After two days of joining in many activities, everybody was exhausted and quickly fell asleep with beautiful dreams of crackers, money, food, and drink. Sometimes there were some slight cracker sounds far away, the rare horn on the street, or mild music from somewhere. The main days of preparing and celebrating New Year by my family had been complete.

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