Vietnamese New Year or Tet Festival is the most important celebration of the Vietnamese people. Traditionally, it is an occasion for family reunion, for family members and friends to wish good luck to each other, for children to have chance to wear new clothes.
In Australia, the seasons are defined by grouping the calendar months in the following way: spring is the three transition months September, October and November; summer is the three hottest months December, January and February; autumn - the transition months March, April and May and winter - the three coldest months June, July and August.
Therefore, the Vietnamese community in Australia will welcome Tet holidays in sweltering summer when the temperature is at 40 degrees Celsius.
Of course, no apricot blossom and peach blossom bloom in Tet festival in Australia; people have no choice but display plastic flowers instead.
However, marigold, cockscomb, daisy beautify Tet festival in Australia.
Four well-known markets for the Vietnamese community in Sydney, the most crowded metropolis in Australia, are Cabramatta, Bankstown, Marickville and Canley Heights; of which Cabramatta is the largest one.
This year, from last December, many Vietnamese stores in Cabramatta, Bankstown, Marickville were showing a sign “ The shop is off for Tet holidays”
In addition, it is thought to open in these days near Tet holidays but several food eateries put ads that they will close for Tet holidays in two or three weeks. Why? An owner of Pho restaurant in Bankstown said that she worked year round and Tet festival is a good chance to take a break.
Also, many Vietnamese owners returned Vietnam during Tet festival despite expensive air fare of 1,500 AUD ( VND26 million) but no available ticket. Subsequently, many have take indirect flight to go back Vietnam during Tet holidays.
All traditional Vietnamese food like lean pork paste, pickled scallion heads, pickleed welsh onion and such are available. In the Lunar New Year Eve nigh, most of members of Vietnamese families gather together in warm atmosphere. They are busy making offerings including fruits, incense and coconut to the ancestors.
A large pagoda is located in Canley Vale where fireworks are held annually in the Lunar New Year Eve night. On the first day of lunar new year ( the first day of lunar January), Vietnamese people usually go to pagoda for seeking luck.
If the new year eve and the first day fall in working day, people will go to office as normal and then they will pay visits to relatives and gather for party
Normally, during the first day of Tet festivals, lion dances are held in big stores in Cabramatta and Bankstown to create enjoyable atmosphere and draw people’s attention to the store plus for wishing good luck. Lion dancers in Sydney are as skillful as their counterparts in Vietnam.
Fairfield is a neighboring district with many Vietnamese living there. In first days of the lunar year, a spring fair named Fairfield Showground is organized. Visitors can enjoy lion dance with spectacular performance in the gate of the fair.
Booths in the fair are decorated colorful and have delicious food. Kids can play extreme games such as ferris wheel.
Fireworks light up the sky of Sydney when Lunar New Year Eve comes.
It can be said that though there is not enough all traditional foods and specific air like in Vietnam, during the Lanar New Year Eve the hearts of the Vietnamese community in Australia or maybe in different countries in the globe think of Vietnam.