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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Vietnam series at VietnamesePod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Vietnamese holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 1 - New Year’s Day.
New Year’s Day, or Tết dương lịch, takes place on January 1st, and is one of the most important festivals in many nations around the world. In the past, celebrations surrounding New Year’s Day were usually adjusted to suit the Vietnamese lifestyle, but the day eventually became a standard official holiday recognized by the State of Vietnam. In this lesson, we will look at how Vietnamese people celebrate the New Year and some differences from Western countries.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
What is the other name of New Year’s Day in Vietnamese?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
New Year's Day is not widely regarded as a traditional holiday in Vietnam, so there are no customary dishes associated with it. Instead, Vietnamese people often simply come together for meals at family reunions or with friends. The phrase for “Family reunion” in Vietnamese is sum họp gia đình. From the afternoon of December 31, many trade centers and streets become much more crowded than usual. Young people often gather together for meals, leisure activities, movies, and so on, and then wait for the turn of the new year.
At the moment the year turns over, Vietnamese people join the countdown from 10 to 0, shouting joyfully and greeting the New Year. In recent years, a brand of beer that is popular in Vietnam, Heineken, has regularly sponsored and organized the Countdown Party, or Lễ đếm ngược, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Using an extravagant sound and lighting system, the party has quickly become very successful. At this event, many famous singers and DJs are invited to perform and create a lively atmosphere.
When the clock strikes midnight, fireworks are let off and people shout "Happy New Year," or in Vietnamese Chúc mừng năm mới. However, as fireworks can cause damage if used improperly, the locations and quantity of fireworks allowed to be set off each year are decided by the government. Major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang are often popular places for fireworks, but the quantity of fireworks set off is typically less than that of the Lunar New Year’s Day, or Tết Âm lịch.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question!
Do you know any other names for New Year’s Day in Vietnamese?
New Year’s Day is also known as Western New Year’s Day or in Vietnamese “Tết Tây” which literally means Western Tet. It’s because this holiday was rooted in the French Colonial period when the Western calendar first began to be adopted and used in Vietnam.
So listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
How do people celebrate New Year’s Day in your country?
Please leave a comment telling us at VietnamesePod101.com, and we’ll see you next time!

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How do people celebrate New Year's Day in your country?