Vietnamese put money into the envelopes and then give them to children and the elderly as lucky money in one of their most important Tet customs: li xi. They also use the envelopes as traditional decorations to hang on their peach or apricot blossom trees.
While the envelopes are usually in red, which is a lucky color in Vietnamese folk belief, there are also other colors like yellow and green. They are often decorated with good luck wishes, either in Chinese or Vietnamese, and the year’s zodiac animal.
Wine and gift baskets
Nowadays, they replace the old gourds with modern wine bottles with famous brands coming from both local and all over the world while in the past, wine is kept in pottery gourds. However, they still preserve the meaning of wine as the present of the upcoming year. Wine is highly appreciated by Vietnamese people as it takes so much time for wine to ferment and distil. Moreover, once drinking wine, people can feel energetic and warm, which are definitely their wishes for the New Year. It is a good idea to send your Vietnamese business partner a gift basket with branded wine. It is high time to further enhance your bonds.
Spring is the season of the brightest and most effulgent colors. Especially in Asia’s beliefs, red is considered good luck, prosperity, joyfulness and contentment. We can see the red color everywhere, from the ornaments, lucky envelopes, to the clothes of the elderly on the first days of New Year. Coming to Vietnam during the Tet Festival, tourists can see the whole streets covered with the color of red. Whichever gifts you plan to give, place a priority on red and yellow and avoid dark colours. For example, if you want to buy children new clothes, try to pick the most bright coloured ones.
Vietnamese traditionally hang scrolls with good luck wishes at home during Tet. Although many still prefer big paper scrolls with handwritten wishes, in recent years miniature scrolls that are made of red fabric and printed with wishes are also well-liked. Many people hang them as decorations on their ancestry altars, or on apricot and peach blossom trees.
A branch of peach blossom
Along with kumquat tree, peach blossom is regarded as the irreplaceable decoration for Tet Festival in Vietnam. Peach blossom is the home of two deities who can control evil spirits, thus, a branch of peach blossom in New Year will drive all the ghosts and bad fortune away.
There are a few kinds of peach blossom, from the red, pink to the white ones, depending on whether it is grown in mountainous or plain area. In Hanoi, Nhat Tan’s flower garden is most famous for carefully-planted peach blossom, while in Moc Chau, we can easily see wildly high peach blossom trees.
Dong Ho paintings
During the Lunar New Year, many Vietnamese love decorating their houses with the traditional paintings that originate from Dong Ho Village in the northern province of Bac Ninh. The paintings’ main themes good luck wishes or cultural activities.