Tết is just around the corner. Vietnamese families will be gathering together this weekend to celebrate the New Year, pay their respects to ancestors, eat a lot of food and have a good time. It is hands down the biggest and most important celebration in Vietnam.
Mr. Octopus and I will be heading down to O.C. on Saturday to see my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and cousins' kids. We'll be arriving a little early to pay respects to my grandparents and other relatives on the family altar.
Vietnamese try to pay all their debts before the New Year. They try to make amends with people. They clean the house and decorate with flowers. They wear new clothes. Children get lucky money in red and gold bags (above). It's a new start, and supposedly the first couple weeks of the New Year are indicative of the rest of the year.
Food is a huge part of Tết, and there are certain dishes that are symbolic of Tết, most notably bánh chưng (right), which is a square cake of sticky rice filled with meat (usually pork) and beans, all wrapped in banana leaves.
Here's hoping that the Year of the Dog is a lucky one for you.
Happy New Year!!!
p.s. If you're going to say "Happy Chinese New Year" to someone, it's best to be sure they're Chinese.