Happy Lunar New Year! 2021 is the Year of the Ox.
Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday in Vietnam. It is a time of celebration, happiness and most importantly, it is a time to spend with family.
I don’t have the luxury of going to Vietnam every year to ring in the Lunar New Year. My mom and I visit Vietnam every two years to visit my grandma and our extended family with our most recent trip being January 2020 before the world shut down. I always get excited whenever it is a “Vietnam year.” I love being surrounded by my large family of aunts, uncles and cousins. I love experiencing a Lunar New Year right in Vietnam and really soaking up the celebration and the culture. It’s always just a really special and sentimental time for my mom & I.
This year looks a little different. This is the first Lunar New Year we are celebrating since my grandmother passed away in September. So while we can not be in Vietnam this year, my mom & I wanted to embrace the Vietnamese Lunar New Year traditions at home to honor and remember my grandmother and grandfather.
The national costume for Vietnam is an áo dài which my mom & I are wearing. We wear and decorate with shades of red and gold to signify luck and prosperity. Decorating for the New Year is as important as decorating for Christmas. We typically bring yellow mai flowers and yellow mums into the house and hang red lanterns. We hand out red envelopes with money, again for luck and prosperity. And we eat traditional foods such as Bánh tét which is a rice cake filled with mung bean and pork, which is pictured and a traditional dish of braised pork & eggs. It is a time of positive thinking as it is the belief that your mindset during the Lunar New Year sets the tone for your year.
So whether you celebrate or not, I want to wish you all a Happy Lunar New Year filled with good luck, good fortune and prosperity.