Tet & Spring Festivals: YEAR OF THE HORSE
Tet Nguyen Dan, the Vietnamese New Year, follows the same lunar calendar that governs Chinese New Year celebrations worldwide. So as the world celebrates Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, the Vietnamese celebrate Tet; in both cultures these are the most important celebrations of the year. It is a great opportunity for family members to unite and enjoy a grand reunion feast. Throughout the year, the Vietnamese and Chinese all look forward to celebrating these festivals, especially the children, as they will receive “red packets” containing money from their elders.
On the 6th of February, the students of MPW London organised a party to commemorate the Tet and Spring Festival. It was held in the 90 and 91 Library at 6pm. The usually quiet and relaxed atmosphere of the library was transformed, creating an atmosphere of rejoicing and festivity. Red lanterns hung from the ceilings as “red packets” and golden paper dragons decorated the walls around us. Soft but uplifting traditional music could be heard as students and teachers gathered round to chat, with the lovely aroma of food floating in the air. Traditional dishes, such as Vietnamese spring rolls and “chao mian” (fried noodles), carefully prepared by the students, were enjoyed by Asians and Europeans alike.
In addition to the night’s festivities, two representatives from China and Vietnam each delivered presentations on the historical backgrounds of the Tet and Spring Festivals, supported by interesting videos and colourful images. The highlight of the evening was the performance given by three Chinese boys, who sang a Chinese song about strength, self-belief and hope with melodic enthusiasm. Everyone applauded them for their courage in giving such a great performance in front of a large audience.
The Tet and Spring Festival party was a great opportunity for students of all nationalities and backgrounds to come together to celebrate this special occasion. The Chinese and Vietnamese students were especially proud to host this event and to share their cultures and traditions with teachers and fellow pupils. We look forward to next year’s Tet and Spring Festival evening with high hopes!