Parallels & Fireworks in Tet
When Tet is coming, everybody is so busy shoping, cleaning and decorating houses. Vietnamese people cannot miss the Tet with parallels and
Composing, challenging and displaying parallels represents an elegant cultural activity of the Vietnamese people. On the occasion of Tet, parallels are written on red paper and hung on both sides of the gate, the pillars or the ancestral altar. Each pair of parallels has an equal number of words with contrasting or corresponding meanings and lines of verses. They show a keen intelligence, perception of nature and social life, uphold morality and a yearning for the well-being of all people. The red is symbolic of auspicious and powerful vitality, according to popular belief. Mingling with the green of the Chung cake, the pink of the peach blooms, the yellow of the apricot blooms, and the red of the parallels is sure to make the Spring warmer and cosier.
Fireworks sparkle and sound, exciting in the transitional period between Lunar New Year’s Eve and Day. The most exciting element in the celebration of Tet is the lighting of fireworks. These explosions are believed to drive off ghosts and evil spirits and leave good luck in the new year. As thousands of people partake in the fantastic firework shooting displays which are set off at different locations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City at midnight of the first day of lunar January. The level of volume and excitement rises to a fury. This level of emotion is the most memorable part of Tet and also the part, which makes it such a marvellous experience.
"Fat pork, salted onions, parallel sentences written on red paper. Long baboo poles planted upright, strings of fireworks, and square glutionus rice cakes", these all make a meaningful Tet holiday for Vietnamese people...