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Some tips for New Year 2014 in Vietnam

Lunar New Year, or Tet, is Vietnam's main holiday. It is the grandest and most important occasion in the year which falls sometime between 19th January and 20th February on the Western calendar. Tet marks the beginning of spring and, for agrarian people, the start of a new year.

Lunar New Year 2014 will be celebrated on January 31st and usually last 3-7days (in some places, it lasts whole month). However, few days before Tet are also hustle days and bring interesting things. Many families renovate houses in the days before Tet, adding even more noise to the already raucous streets of Vietnam.

The years are represented by 12 zodiac animals: rat, buffalo, tiger, cat, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. These animals rotate through 12-year periods. Each animal has different strengths and weaknesses that they are believed to pass on to any person born in their year. 2014 will be the year of horse.

According to Chinese ancient‘s conception, people born in the year of the horse have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. Although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful, perceptive, talented, earthy but stubborn. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are popular among friends, active at work and refuse to be reconciled to failure, although their endeavor cannot last indefinitely.

Ancestor worship is also a key part of Tet, and nearly every home in Vietnam contains a family shrine where the spirits of deceased relatives are kept. Gifts, including Li Xi (lucky money) and food are placed in the shrines to keep ancestors content in the afterlife. On Tet holiday, people are also supposed to say best wishes to others. The following are some ways that most Vietnamese people use to say on Lunar New Year day:

• Chúc Mừng Năm Mới – Happy New Year
• Cung Chúc Tân Xuân – Gracious wishes of the new spring
• Vạn Sự Như Ý: May all your wishes come true
• Năm Mới dồi dào sức khỏe: I wish you a healthy new year
• Năm mới tấn tài tấn lộc: I wish you a wealthy new year
• Năm mới thăng quan tiến chức: I wish that you will get promoted in the new year
• Năm mới toàn gia bình an: I wish that the new year will bring health to all your family
• Năm mới thắng lợi mới: New year, new triumphs (often heard in political speech)
• Chúc hay ăn chóng lớn: Eat more, grow rapidly (for children)
• Chúc mau chóng tìm được người yêu: New lover will come in the new year (for single people)
• Tiền vào nhu nước sông Đà, tiền ra nhỏ giọt như cà phê phin: Money influx is as strong as Da's river; expenditure is as little as dripping coffee