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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Giang: Hi everyone, I’m Giang, and welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com.
Jason: I’m Jason, and this is the All About Series, Lesson 9 The Top 5 Important Dates During the Vietnamese Calendar Year. It must be difficult to choose these dates from all the ones available, right?
Giang: You’re right, but I’ll only talk about the days that are widely celebrated.
Jason: Ok, let’s introduce them in an ascending order of importance.
Giang: All right. Save the best for last!

Lesson focus

Jason: Let’s start with number 5...
Giang: That is the Mid-autumn festival and is called “Tết Trung thu” in Vietnamese.
Jason: It’s held on the 15th of August in the lunar calendar, usually mid September or early October in the Western calendar. Let’s talk about what people do on that day.
Giang: Well, Vietnamese people, especially children, will gather to eat moon cakes and autumn fruit while watching the full moon. Streets are lit up with lanterns of different shapes and sizes.
Jason: Sounds very exciting! Now let’s continue with number 4...
Giang: That is Women’s Day. There are two women’s days in Vietnam – International Women’s Day on 8th March and Vietnamese Women’s Day on 20th October.
Jason: International women’s day? I’ve never heard of it.
Giang: Though it is called “international”, it’s more popular in socialist countries
Jason: I see. So is Vietnamese Women’s Day like Mother’s day?
Giang: In Vietnam, women’s day is celebrated as a mix of mother’s day and Valentine’s day. It’s the occasion when men express their love for the important women in their lives, such as their mothers, wives, and girlfriends.
Jason: So do they give presents?
Giang: Yes, the most popular present is flowers.
Jason: Well, let’s move onto number 3...Liberation or Reunification day.
Giang: Yes. This takes place on April 30th, which is an important historical day. On April 30th, 1975, northern and southern Vietnam were reunited and it marked the end of the Vietnam war.
Jason: As you can imagine, this is a big day! Every year, special meetings for war veterans and soldiers are held to commemorate this event. There are also music shows with a focus on wartime songs and documentaries recounting important moments of the victory on that day.
Giang: Ok, and now let’s go to number 2…The national day called “quốc khánh” on September 2nd. It’s considered the National Independence Day.
Jason: Yes, On September 2nd, 1945, at Ba Dinh square in Hanoi, President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence. It officially announced the independence of Vietnam from France and Japan. Since then, September 2nd has become the national day of Vietnam.
Giang: Yes. Vietnamese people have a day off work and school to commemorate this important day. Vietnamese flags and large banners with posters of President Ho Chi Minh are hung everywhere.
Jason: The streets are filled with red and yellow, the two main colors on the Vietnamese flag. There is also an annual march at Ba Dinh square and fireworks in major cities.
Giang: That’s right.
Jason: All right. Now the last day, the most important day...Number 1 is...
Giang: Vietnamese new year, called Tết. It is the most important traditional event, and the longest holiday during the year.
Jason: So it’s not like the Western new year on January 1st?
Giang: No, what I want to mention is the new year on the Lunar calendar. Vietnamese people do take a day off to celebrate the new year on January 1st of the Western calendar. But we don’t do anything special.
Jason: Ah, so the Vietnamese new year is the same as the Chinese new year, right?
Giang: Right. Vietnamese new year is celebrated on the same days as the Chinese new year. The holidays usually start from the last two days of the last lunar year till the 3rd day of the new lunar year. So the new year is often in late January, or early/mid February in the Western calendar.
Jason: And it’s almost a one-week holiday.
Giang: Yeah, but the actual celebration starts from the 23rd of the last lunar December to the 15th of the next lunar January.
Jason: Ok, so this is another great occasion to visit Vietnam. Can you explain more about it?
Giang: Sure. Vietnamese people cook traditional foods, clean and decorate their houses to prepare for the new year, or as we call it, “Tết”. Tết is to celebrate the arrival of spring, so during this holiday, Vietnamese people love to decorate their homes with many kinds of flowers and bonsais. Peach flowers and kumquat trees are the most popular.
Jason: It’s like Americans decorating houses with pine trees for Christmas!
Giang: Exactly!
Jason: This holiday is also the time for family reunions. People are excited to return to their hometowns. Some other customs include preparing traditional meals to worship the ancestors, visiting relatives and friends, giving lucky money to children and old people and visiting temples and pagodas to pray for a blessed upcoming year.
Giang: And with that, I think we've covered the five most important holidays in Vietnam.

Outro

Jason: We hope you have the chance to visit Vietnam during one of these holidays so that you can experience it for yourself! Join us next time for more information on Vietnam and Vietnamese!
Giang: See you next time!

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Hi everyone!

Good to know when the holidays are, right?