Seeking calligraphy – A beautiful custom during Tet

The Tet holiday is the most important and most anticipated of the year in Vietnam. A number of meaningful traditional customs are practiced at this time, with collecting calligraphy being among the most beautiful.


The custom not only reflects the respect of Vietnamese people towards knowledge but also helps preserve a time-honoured practice. The meaningful characters created on special paper have become a symbol of good luck and objects of worship for thousands of years.

The traditional calligraphy market in Ho Chi Minh City is located at the Youth Cultural House, attracting calligraphers who are members of calligraphy clubs in the city and neighbouring provinces.

Artists dressed in áo dài, including men and women of different ages, show their skills and sell calligraphy in black and yellow ink on red paper.

A long time ago, when Vietnamese ancestors still used Han and Nom characters as official writing scripts, respect for studiousness and knowledge was at its highest. Mastering beautiful hand-writing is also a key criterion for people to be respected in the academic world. Scholars who mastered this skill became famous all over the country.

Though calligraphy has passed its heyday and is no longer so prevalent, the image of an elderly scholar painstakingly drawing black beautiful characters on red paper remains inside the hearts of many Vietnamese people./.