New Year, New Openings
Topic: New Year
At midnight on the lunar New Year, the roof tops and balconies of any Vietnamese town are crowded with people. The streets below are alive with an abundance of sounds and sights; singing and dancing revellers and the steam and smells from snack vendors lining the streets. Fireworks flare up and sparkle between the numerous high-rises of the city centre, as traditional music and Abba singing ‘Happy New Year’ resound through the sky.
These celebrations welcome in the first day of Tet, the most important and popular festival in Vietnam, when most people will return to their families, leaving the bustling cities quiet. Tet begins on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar (around late January or early February) and lasts until the third day and beyond. Even before Tet begins, people will buy new clothes, new shoes and thoroughly clean or repaint their homes in preparation, as they look expectantly to the new year ahead, wondering what it may bring.
Thinking about the future, many Vietnamese will be consumed with making offerings to their ancestors. Hoping for a good year, they wish to appease the spirits who, they believe, come to visit them at this time of year. All kinds of rituals and superstitions are performed, as Vietnamese try to win for themselves, a year of prosperity and good health.
Whilst most Vietnamese talk about luck, prosperity and good health, Christian groups visit homes singing together of the God who holds the future, and offering to pray for the people they meet.
- Pray for Vietnamese Christian’s to clearly understand and share with others the true source of blessing.
- Pray for the faithful witness of those who are the sole Christians in their families during the Tet reunion.
- Pray for ways of reaching out with the message of true freedom to Vietnamese caught in superstition.