At midnight of the lunar New Year, the rooftops and balconies of any Vietnamese town are crowded with people. The streets below are alive with a plethora of sounds and sites; singing and dancing revellers and the steam and smells from snack vendors lining the streets. Fireworks flare up and sparkle between the numerous high rises of the city centre as traditional music and Abba singing “Happy New Year” resound through the sky.
These celebrations welcome in the first day of Tet the most important and popular festival in Vietnam, when most people will return to their families. Tet begins on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar (around late January or early February) and lasts until the third day. Even before Tet begins, people will buy new clothes, new shoes and thoroughly clean or repaint their homes in preparation. They look expectantly to the new year ahead, wondering what it may bring.
Thinking about the future, many Vietnamese will be making offerings to their ancestors. Hoping for a good year, they wish to please the spirits who they believe, come to visit them at this time of year. All kinds of rituals and superstitions are performed as Vietnamese try to win for themselves a year of prosperity and good health.
While most Vietnamese talk about ‘good luck’, prosperity and good health, a group of Christians visited local homes singing together of the God who holds the future, offering to pray for the people they met.
Will you pray for Vietnam?
- Pray for Vietnamese Christians to clearly understand and share with others the true source of blessing.
- Pray for the faithful witness of those who are the soul Christians in their families during the Tet reunion.
- Pray for new ways of reaching out to Vietnamese courting superstition.