You’re planning a tour to Vietnam at Tet to get to know about their activities in this important holiday. And it’s a bit hard to find the ancient atmosphere of Tet in Ho Chi Minh city or Hanoi, 2 biggest cities of Vietnam. So why don’t you try to find it in an old place like Hoi An. Different from some other places, Hoi An still keeps its traditional activities in Tet, even in this century, therefore finding the distinction of the ancient town with a homestay in Hoi An at Tet, which has attracted a large number of visitors, will definitely a good choice for you.
The ancient beauty of Hoi An
From a fairy tale
“Celebrating Tet holiday with Hoi An” homestay tour is held annually in Vuon Trau (Betel Garden), by Thanh Nam fishing village, which features lush bamboo and green trees. Starting from December 29th (lunar month), visitors and their homestay families decorate their houses and make traditional cakes for Tet such Chung cake (square glutinous rice cake) or Tet cake (cylindric glutinous rice cake). They have the opportunity to understand Vietnamese traditional customs of Tet holiday. On New Year’s Eve, while cooking Chung cake and Tet cake in sparkling candle lights, they can also listen to the story of betel and areca.
Hoi An in Tet
On the last day of the year (lunar month), the family has Chung cake or Tet cake for breakfast, and then makes pickled vegetables and goes to the flower market to choose their favorite flowers for decorating their house before New Year. During the day, they have a party and make offerings to their ancestors.
On the first day of New Year (lunar month), visitors, dressing in traditional costumes with Ao Dai and scarves will go to the pagoda and burn incense at houses of worship and the tombs of their ancestors. In the afternoon, they visit relatives, friends, join in traditional games to wish for good luck in the new year, and then burn incense at some communal houses and pagodas in the ancient town.
New Year’s festivals
Hoi An hosts numerous festivals at the beginning of New Year. In the foggy morning, people join in Cau Bong festival of the traditional Tra Que vegetable village to wish for a bountiful season.
Festive flags of the village, hang highly, drums and gongs, ancient music, local people, who are dressed in ceremonial costumes and carrying trays of five fruits, walk along streets. Cakes and fruits, joss-sticks and flowers are arranged on the altars to pray in the festival. The festival creates an attraction for visitors with its vivid activities.
Cau Bong festival
On Tet holiday, the ancient town is jubilant with a variety of folk games such as Bai Choi singing, pot breaking, ceramics making, folk songs or poem chanting. Visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of this landscape by tasting local cuisine along Hoai river.
Visitors can indulge in garlands and colored lanterns on the river while enjoying local cuisine and resounding traditional music. Visiting Hoi An, you will have a chance to taste an abundance of specialties such as dumpling, pork pies, Cao Lau (rice pancake with pork meat and shrimp), Quang’s noodle, Luc Tau Xa (green bean sweet soup) glutinous rice cake, soya cake, green bean cake or special tea served by Hoai Pho’s ladies.
However, besides its cozy and warm atmosphere in Tet, Hoi An possesses a lot of other magnificent sceneries, especially in the night, when the light is mostly from the stunning lanterns made of traditional silk and by amazing technique of local residents. You can read about its magical beauty right at my previous articles, such as: