Happy New Year, Vietnam!

February 17, 2007

It’s New Year’s Day, for the second time this year.

Vietnamese New Year (or, “Tet”) preparations came to a fever pitch yesterday. Motorbikes were everywhere. People scampered to buy last-minute chrysanthemums and peach trees and watermelons. Stores began closing, but the rush of traffic, if anything, grew worse. In the evening, the streets were lined with small fires, people burning the remnants from last year’s festivities. Street cleaners were in full force even at 1 a.m. to clean the city before the new year began (although, I guess at 1 a.m., they were probably too late.)

Happy New YearWe rang in Tet on the roof of our guesthouse. There was no countdown to herald in the Year of the Pig, only a massive fireworks display over Hoam Kiem lake in Hanoi’s city center. The narrow streets were so choked with people and motorbikes that it took us several minutes to walk a few yards. Families partied on the sidewalks. Firecrackers exploded well into the early morning.

And now Hanoi is silent. Everything is closed. A few motorbikes toot their horns in the distance but it’s nothing like the usual broken symphony. Vietnam is taking it easy, and subsequently, so are we.

Chuc mung nam moi! (Happy New Year! in Vietnamese.)

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2 Responses to “Happy New Year, Vietnam!”

  1. Keiko said

    YAY for the year of the pig!!!!! Thank god you and I weren’t born on a pig year, though rooster isn’t anything to brag about. This weekend in NY we’re celebrating President’s Day with lots of sales at Macy’s (lame) and everyone is happy that they don’t have to go to work on Monday. Lazy asses.

  2. Jessi said

    I was watching something on the news here about Chinese mothers who desperately wanted their kids to be born in the year of the pig. This year is supposed to be especially good. They called it the year of the golden pig.

    The funny thing was they only interviewed mothers who gave birth to their babies like at 11:59 of the old year so their kids missed out on a lifetime of good luck by one second. Sucks. :P

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