It’s Lunar New Year’s Eve and Cabramatta is buzzing with excited shoppers, me included (see above)!. There’s a real sense of goodwill and optimism. It’s got me thinking about the Tet traditions I’ve learnt from the parents. I’ve listed a few which might help you to join in the celebrations; they’re not definitive but that’s what I can remember from sh*t dad has said over the years:
- Everyone’s birthday falls on new year’s day: yes, everyone turns another age on the first day of the new year, this year it’s Monday, 23rd January 2012.
- Give li si (red packets) with money: to children when they make a new year wish for you.. usually “health, wealth and happiness in the new year”. Make sure you make similar greetings to your parents and elders.
- Don’t fight: whatever you do on the first day of the year, you’ll do for the rest. Make sure you don’t hold grudges, harbour ill feelings into the new year. Make sure you resolve differences with family and friends before the new year.
- Don’t go into debt: Vietnamese will be desperate to pay off debt to avoid being in debt in the new year. We don’t take up new loans during this period. Refrain from spending money during the first three days of the year.
- Clean and new: before the new year, clean the house so you start a fresh in the new one. Wear new clothes on the new year to symbolise a clean start.
- Auspicious first person that crosses the threshold of your house: the first visitor on day one brings their luck or ill-luck into your house. So make sure they’re lucky, wealthy, healthy or happy!
- Go to the temple: and pray for luck, health, wealth and happiness for your family and loved ones.
- Generate good karma: your actions will generate positive or negative karma. Try to do good always.