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Tet: Let's Get Ready to Celebrate

New Year in Vietnam

A little girl gets her lantern ready during the Tet celebration. Photo: flickr.com/pixiduc

A little girl gets her lantern ready during the Tet celebration. Photo: flickr.com/pixiduc

New Year in Vietnam

Learn about Lunar new Year in Vietnam and why it is an especially good time to review good manners.

Questions to Explore
What is New Year?
How do we celebrate New Year in another culture?

Materials Required
World map to show where Vietnam is
Art supplies for children to make a book or poster (optional)

Assessment

Student discussion and art project

Procedure

  1. Explain to students that everyone celebrates something. Ask students to name several special holidays they celebrate.
  2. In Vietnam, there is a holiday so special it takes three days to celebrate! This holiday is called Tet Nguyen (pronounced nwen) Dan, or Tet for short.
  3. Tet is the Vietnamese New Year. Tet begins during the full moon prior to spring planting, sometime in January or February. Like any special events, much preparation takes place. With so much to do, work and school grind to a halt as families prepare for tho most joyous time of the year. Although the holiday officially lasts three days, many people enjoy at least seven days break from their normal schedule.
  4. Ask students if they look at the moon often. Does it change shape? Draw the four stages of the moon and identify each one for students. Which is the full moon?
  5. The New Year's moon, or Tet moon, reminds people to be honest and good. The Vietnamese prize good manners and tend to judge others by their use of courteous behavior.
  6. Go around the room and ask students to think about important manners at school, home or play. Write them down. Ask students to help you choose the ten most important ones.

Extension

Help students make a book or poster that celebrates good manners and a new year. Students can draw pictures of good qualities everyone should exhibit.