Read how one Vietnamese family celebrates New Year’s in a uniquely Vietnamese way—preparing and eating traditional foods, observing special traditions, watching fireworks and a dragon dance, and sharing good times with family members.
Spring is coming, the period of time to which I always aspire. It means that the New Year is also coming soon. That’s the first day of lunar calendar, around the end of January and the beginning of February in Solar calendar.
Regardless of age, society class, or living conditions, every Vietnamese family celebrates the New Year in the same traditional way. It’s considered to be the most important and wonderful holiday in my country, since that is the time for people to leave their haplessness in the back and get their fortune for the New Year.
Similar to other houses, my family has always bustled in preparing and greeting for the New Year.
That was the preceding day of the New Year, and it was also the busiest day in my house. My mother went to the supermarket early in the morning and came back with a bunch of food. From then, the clatter of dishes and pans and the sizzle of food that has been fried were far resounding incessantly until late evening.
At any place of the house, you could even hear the noisy boil on the stove or the scrunching of my mother’s spoon scratched on the pan. You could also smell the burn of coconut jam, which was being made by my sister.
“Why do you always burn it?” I shouted.
“That’s the way I like,” she said and laughed at me.
I loved her jam so much, but she was always burning it until the white coconut jam became the yellow jam. It was terrible! At noon, the puff of smoke and the mixed scent from various kinds of food started spreading over my house.
After that, certainly, there were my father’s footsteps clattering on the floor. He left his half-painted walls in the living room to go into the kitchen and grumble to my Mom. “Your smoke is disturbing me.”
In fact, he just wanted to look around the kitchen room with many kinds of food on the table. Then he smiled contentedly when seeing my mother cooking next to the tiny crackles of burnt firewood in the stove and the bright red fire, which were blazing up the kitchen.
At the end of the day, when everything was done, my house became brilliant with the colorful balloons, ribbons, and flowers. However, you shouldn’t sit next to the walls in the living room because the layer of new paint was still sticky and would adhere on your clothes. Moreover, the smell of paint was very strong at the end of this day.