Today’s Doodle celebrates the Year of the Tiger on the first day of the Lunar New Year, known colloquially as Tt in Vietnam, with spring flowers, traditional delicacies, and an air of anticipation for what’s to come. The tiger is a symbol of bravery and strength. Tt is regarded the first day of spring in Vietnam, despite the fact that it occurs more than a month before the vernal equinox.
This new beginning corresponds with a number of customs aimed at ensuring good fortune in the following year: old quarrels are settled, residences are cleaned from top to bottom, and red and yellow (the day’s lucky colours) decorations cover everything from temples to city streets.
To celebrate the new year, traditional delicacies of all forms and sizes are prepared. Bánh tét, a cylindrical sticky rice cake, is ubiquitous in southern Vietnam, while Bánh chng, its square cousin, is particularly popular in the north. Fruits such as bananas, oranges, coconuts, kumquats, and apples can be found on the Mâm ng qu five-fruit tray. This tray represents five benefits (money, luxury, long life, health, and safety) as well as five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, and earth) that are all considered lucky.
While all of these traditions are important to Tt celebrations, the first person to enter a house after the clock strikes midnight on the new year is considered to bring the year’s luck with them.
Happy Lunar New Year, everyone!