Joining in the event “Open the door to see Tet”, the children enthusiastically played bamboo dance, throwing cans, and mandarin square capturing.
Some were unfamiliar with the cloth ball throwing game and “gourd crab shrimp fish”, a Vietnamese gambling game using three dice. But after a few turns, the children got into the rhythm and knew the rules of the game.
The folk games were enjoyed by the children and their parents.
“I played the game of throwing a cloth ball. I was very happy. I hit three balls.”
“My children can play the games that I used to play in the past, which I find very meaningful. Children can also experience throwing balls, bamboo dance, and doing fun activities with friends. The bamboo dance and mandarin square capturing remind me of my childhood. As for the games played in mountainous areas, I have never seen them before. Today I came to play with my children, and I feel very happy.”
“Children often use phones, televisions, and video games… There’s little opportunity for them to play folk games. That’s why today I am playing folk games with my children.”
Parents and children also made woodblock prints. The children were taught how to use paper materials and traditional colors. A female artist showed them how to paint.
“I divided it into two stages, engraving and printing. First, use a wooden board and create the design on it. Then I switch to printing. I use dó paper, a traditional Vietnamese paper made by hand. After colors are put on the engraving, I rub the ink on the engraving and print on the paper. It’s not too difficult. Even the little ones can easily create a product. Children and parents are very interested and ask a lot of questions,” said the female artist.
Nguyen Chieu Xuan, director of Lionbooks Bookstore, said the staff personally designed the decorations for these fun activities. “We have been preparing for this event for months. We want to create a traditional space for parents and children to experience the games of their childhood during the Tet holiday. Lionbooks is a pure Vietnamese children’s book publisher and wants to contribute to preserving the traditional beauty of our country at the Lunar New Year.”
This is a workshop called “Telling music stories – open the door to see Tet” with songs bearing the flavor of Tet from Kat Ha, a musician and expert in preschool music education.
“Usually we read books to the children, who listen to us passively. But by using music to tell stories, the children more actively receive the content. They are transformed into the characters and experience the activities and wisdom that the book brings,” Ha said.
Held every year, the “Open the door to see Tet” program has become something the children look forward to when the Lunar New Year arrives.