On holidays in Vietnam the people don't work. Should a holiday fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the day shift to the Monday afterwards. The Vietnam Holidays tell strangers to keep the history of Vietnam alive.
Once a year there's also a special treat for children, the mid-autumn festival. At this party children have lanterns, there are
colourful see lion dances and dragon dances or special dishes to eat. A very special dish at this festival is the mid-autumn festival cake. But also adults join this party.
It's also time to keep all day free for deeper matters of the spirit, or the family and the country. The traditional holidays of Vietnam are counted according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
The most important religious holidays are Buddhist holidays. On Buddha's Birthday bring the Buddhist followers offerings (fruit, vegetables, flowers, incense and candles) in the pagodas. The sacrifices may only be vegetarian.
The most important celebration oin Vietnam is the Tet-festival or Vietnamese New Year (it is at the same time as Chinese New Year). The Tet festival lasts officially three days, and many Vietnamese have one week off. Festivities are organized such as parades, dragon dances, fireworks and flower parades, but mainly it is a family celebration. The Vietnamese people travel throughout the country to visit their families and eat special meals. The new beginning of the year also includes new clothes, homes are thoroughly cleaned and they refurbish the graves of the ancestors. Most shops and many restaurants are closed during Tet.
The festival is celebrated everywhere, but there are also crowded and lively markets in the villages. Everywhere is a special flower markets. The whole family will eat together and the house is nicely made and clean. Everyone says to each other a good wish. Sacrifices to the ancestors are made at an altar. Children receive gifts and new clothes. And do not forget 'lucky money'. Fortunately money is given in a beautifully decorated red bag. The children say a desire against their parents and then get the bag. Much food is prepared. Very tasty food.
On New Year Day the family usually goes to a pagoda. A kind of temple where they ask various gods for happiness for the new year. They also burn much incense. Then they eat in Vietnam a rice cake (Banh Chung). These are cakes of sticky rice stuffed with pork, fat, beans and onions and is the first dish served during the extensive lunch of seven different dishes. The drinks are mainly beer and water.