(Construction) – Tết is Vietnamese New Year which is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture.
Tết celebrates the arrival of spring based on the Vietnamese calendar, which usually has the date falling in January or February.
Tết is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. They start forgetting about the troubles of the past year and hope for a better upcoming year and one of the most important thing is decorating houses by flowers and trees, displaying the tray of five fruits.
In Vietnam, people choose five kinds of fruits to show their wishes for best things and luck in new year. Nature give Vietnam a wide range of delicious fruits. The selection of fruits isn’t the same in different regions but each fruit usually symbolizes for good things. In recent days, there could be more than five kinds of fruits on the tray. Fruits should be fresh and look great to be arranged as a decoration in a house.
Presentation of five fruits in the North often follows the concept of the Five Elements in Eastern culture. The five fruits combined five colors of the earth and sky elements. The fruits in Northern is usually smaller than in the South. The three required fruits in the north are bananas, grapefruit and tangerines or oranges. In Central Vietnam, because the soil is poor, there are not lots of fruits, people use any fruits as long as they are fresh and clean to arrange five-fruit tray.
Each type of fruit has a special meaning that is carefully chosen by the homeowner to present on Tet altar. It’s also the offer to family’s ancestors who is worshiped on the altar. Popular fruits used to arranged are dragon fruit, banana, watermelon, pineapple, oranges and mandarin.
Although selection of fruits are different from region to region, all show respect and gratitude to ancestor and the wish having a security, good health and prosperity in the next year. The presentation of traditional five-fruit tray in the North is to spread green bananas at the bottom, supporting all other fruits. The middle is a grapefruit or a golden buddha, other fruits are displayed around. The places are alternating yellow tangerines, green apples, or red fruits.
By Khanh Phuong