A vast array of activities to entertain Hanoians and visitors on the occasion of the Lunar New Year or Tet holiday will take place at Hanoi’s Thang Long Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Thang Long Imperial Citadel is vividly adorned in the Lunar New Year. Photo: Hoang thanh Thang Long 

Accordingly, a range of cultural activities to celebrate Spring 2023 starts today [January 1].

The exhibition “Traditional Tet” will recreate the warm Tet atmosphere of Vietnamese families with traditional customs such as ancestor worship, exchanging New Year’s greetings, giving lucky money to children and the elderly, cooking Banh chung or squared sticky rice cake, among others.

Meanwhile, the highlight of the program is the “Royal Spring at the Palace” exhibition, which will open on January 14, along with the Chinh Dan ceremony or an important ritual of the traditional Vietnamese Tet holiday, originating from the later Le Dynasty from 1428 to 1789.

The first day of the Lunar New Year is called “Chinh Dan” when Vietnamese families perform a series of rituals in the hope of a healthy, happy, prosperous, and successful year. Other rituals include “xong dat” or home visits on the first day of the year, preparing a feast to venerate ancestors, visiting pagodas, collecting fresh tree branches, or buying salt for fortune, among others.

Various interesting activities will also be organized at Thang Long Imperial Citadel during the Tet holiday. Photo: Hoang Thanh Thang Long

Similarly, this ritual was also celebrated at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. On that day, court officials and heads of provinces and regions would gather to wish the King a good new year. In response, the King would organize a banquet and reward his mandarins with money.

The Chinh Dan exhibition area consists of three parts: paintings on the Lunar New Year ritual at the Thang Long court under the reign of Le Trung Hung (1533-1789); a space to recreate the ritual of mandarins wishing the King a happy new year; and the money-giving ceremony displaying a collection of ancient coins under the reign of Le Hien Tong (in the Canh Hung era of the 18th century).

The Tet holiday is the most important holiday in Vietnam. This year, Tet will begin on January 20 and last until January 26.