I've always been asked "How's Lunar New Year in Vietnam?" whenever I told someone that I'm going back there for Chinese New Year celebration. Many people, including my Singaporean friends, do not know that we (the Vietnamese) celebrate our Chinese New Years as crazily as the people in China. As my answer "It's great!" didn't seem to please their curiosity, I thought of documenting and sharing with everyone here.
Back to the question "How's Lunar New Year in Vietnam", I can now add another word "colorful" to my answer and refer it to the picture above. It truly is the most beautiful and colorful time of the year.
Every destination starts from an airport. Here I was, walking to the gate while looking so winter-ready for my only winter trip of the year.
Three hours later, a close-up view of Home and the taste of home-cooked food, straight from my Mom' kitchen.
Meals are the most important part of the family's daily activities. Like many other families in Vietnam, we love family bonding time over a meal. We try to have lunch and dinner at home together. This was our sumptuous gathering dinner before New Year. Trust me, on a regular day, we don't cook this much. It doesn't matter what we eat, it's the time that we can sit down and enjoy a meal together that matters.
Next day, if Dad doesn't ask me out for breakfast, my good friends usually do. We always hang out at a chic coffee spot in town, have a cup of coffee after filling our stomach with a big bowl of Pho (beef noodle). A simple activity like that takes a big space in my heart. I miss it the most when somebody asks me about Vietnam.
Never leave Vietnam without trying a bowl of Pho. You can choose to eat Beef noodle (Pho bo) or Chicken noodle (Pho ga). They taste wonderful!
My days in Vietnam are pretty laid-back. It's either I would stay at home and play with my nephew or I would go out shopping for New Year with my mom and dad. A beautiful sunset on the day I went out with my Mom.
The city hasn't changed so much since I left in 2005.
Fresh flowers at every corner of the street.
Fresh peach blossoms at every house. The blossom tree is an iconic symbol of Lunar New Year in Vietnam. It's said to bring wealth and happiness. To my family, the blossom tree is not only a must-have item for New Year, but also reminds us of our old and sad story.
On New Year days, we'll bring Miu to the park, take family photos, and visit our relatives and friend's houses. The routine stays the same every year, but we never get bored of it.
I guess it doesn't matter where I am or what I do, it's who I am with and I know I'm happiest whenever I am with my family.
Besides lotuses, blossom flowers, and bamboos, star fruits which are seen in many villages in Vietnam, also have a special meaning to us. It's a part of the lesson that we first learn in the school. It's a playground of many kids in the countryside. It reminds us of home and our childhood memory. I can't think of anything more appropriate to end this blog post than the photo of the real starfruit tree that I captured at my grandma's house. Its image always stays in my heart.
I'd like to welcome you home with me through a short video clip that I filmed during my trip. Hope you like it.
Thank you so much for reading and watching!