Vietnamese people follow annual rules for the New Year. They are very careful about what they do the first day of the New Year because, according to them, it will later determine their luck for the rest of the year. Therefore, Vietnamese people prepare for the New Year beginning two weeks before the actual New Year’s Day. Vietnamese people then have more rituals at midnight and on the first morning of the New Year. For example, my family prepares many things for New Year’s Day. We spend a lot of money, and we make substantial plans in advance for New Year. We buy new clothes and new shoes, paint and clean the house, cook three days worth of food, and pay off all debts. We go to the marketplace and the shopping mall to buy food, firecrackers, and flowers. The Vietnamese marketplace is very crowded the week before the New Year. After four o’clock, the markets close down so people can go home. We cook many kinds of food that our grandparents liked to eat when they were young. We also burn incense and artificial money to honor our grandparents, as we always believe that our grandparents will return from the other world to visit our family. Even though they don’t appear incarnate, my family believes that our grandparents exist around us even though they are dead. Thus, we always understand that to worship our ancestors means showing respect to our ancestors. After these rituals, we always invite the relatives and neighbors to sit around the table. Most of us sit at the table to share food together in the party.
There are many such rituals that might seem different to outsiders. When our family has a party, we have to provide enough chairs for all people who are invited. If we lack bowls, dishes, tables, and chairs, we can borrow them from the neighbors. The next time another family has a party, we do the same thing for them. Then, we prepare for New Year’s Eve. We have more rituals on New Year’s