Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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Vietnamese Tet, then and now

Tet (Lunar New Year) activities have more or less changed over time, but beautiful traditional customs are followed today in every Vietnamese family.

For the people, Tet is when reality blends with dreams. It's not only an occasion for them to decorate houses and shop for more goods, but also a chance for family members to reunite and pay respect to their ancestors.
The people have to cut spending due to the current economic difficulties, but none forgets the traditions that symbolize the spirit of the nation during the holiday.
Viet Nam News photographer Doan Tung recalls the old days while capturing the present-day activities in Ha Noi during Tet 2014.

Villagers arrange la dong (Phrynium leaves) in the olden days. The leaves were indispensable for wrapping traditional Chung cakes. -- File Photo
People buy phrynium leaves in a present-day Ha Noi market. -- VNS Photo Doan Tung

Chung cakes were compressed and boiled in the past. -- File Photo

Many young people still follow the traditional custom of boiling Chung cakes at home. -- VNS Photo Doan Tung
Jam, cigarettes and wine were essential articles during Tet earlier. -- File Photo
Now Tet goods are much more diversified and ceremonious. -- VNS Photo Doan Tung

The Hang Luoc flower market during Tet in the 1930s. -- File Photo

Peach blossoms are still bought by every Ha Noi family for Tet. -- VNS Photo Doan Tung

Hanoians shop for Tet goods at a state-run market in the old days. -- File Photo

Today, many people shop for Tet items at supermarkets or trade centres. -- VNS Photo Doan Tung

Scholars wrote parallel sentences, a Tet custom, a a street corner in the old days. -- File Photo

The tradition is still preserved today, as many young people ask for scholars' handwriting on Tet. -- VNS Photo Doan Tung

Today, many youngsters request scholars' handwriting on the Lunar New Year in the hope for achieving better learning. -- VNS Photo Doan Tung


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