Amid the warmth and joy filling up the air during the Tet Festival called “Cozy Tet – Peaceful Spring”, hosted by Foreign Trade University in our main campus in Hanoi, all of our international students had their experience with the traditional Lunar New Year in Vietnam.
During this event, international students were given Vietnamese traditional costume – “Ao Dai”. They were all excited to try on their Ao Dai, as they are all vibrant in colours and made of exotic silk. There were many activities that they experienced during this event. Firstly, they participated in the Flower-arranging and Five-fruit-displaying contest in which they received First and Third place.
Flower-arranging and Five-fruit-displaying have always been a tradition in Vietnam during Lunar New Year. Vietnamese people believe that flowers have meanings and for Lunar New Year, they want to display flowers with the meaning of gratefulness towards their ancestors for the past year. The Five-fruit plate must be filled with colours that represent 5 elements – Metal – Wood – Water – Fire – Earth to show their gratefulness to the environment they are living in. International students are intrigued with the ideology behind the meaning of flowers and fruits and eager to know more about Vietnamese culture.
Other than this contest, students got to make their own Banh Chung firsthand with teachers and staffs at Foreign Trade University. All students looked anxious waiting for the outcome of their own Banh Chung, which they would receive the day after. They also got their toy figurine (tò he), and traditional calligraphies. Finally, they got to join in the Traditional Food fair, and they were all surprised with the diversity of the foods. They all found their new favourite Vietnamese foods that they did not know about, such as Banh Duc, Banh Day or Che Do Den.
After this Tet Festival, all international students are genuinely happy and look forward to experiencing the traditional Lunar New Year in Vietnam.