The custom of RECELEBRATING TẾT

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HUNG NGUYEN MANH1

    This is a custom that appeared during periods of warfare in the past, or whenever, due to a certain situation, the celebration of Tết cannot be made in the right time, so people have to reorganize that celebration and call it recelebration of Tết. The recelebration of Tết also bears the meaning that, as the first time everybody were not present, people recelebrate it a second time to have everybody at home.

Green Tree TẾT (8th day of the first lunar month)

    This custom still leaves its trace at the Mỹ Tho village (Bình Lục, Nam Hà) and used to be celebrated on the 8th of the first lunar month; people call it Green Tree Tết (Tết cây xanh).

    Legend has it that formerly, a general led his troops to that locality in the evening of the 30th of the last lunar month. While resting and spending the night, that general ordered a green tree to be planted, promising that after fighting the enemies he would return to that place, and if, the tree was still alive, he would give a feast to the whole village. Upon his victorious return on the 8th of the first lunar month, he kept his promise and gave a feast to that whole village. The general placed a huge incense-burner at the foot of the tree, displayed sticky rice and pork on banana leaves instead of a tray then enjoy the dishes with his troops and villagers without needing tables and bowls and plates.

    The custom of celebrating Tết so tardily after the season of rejoicings is over has little by little turned into a custom called the custom of recelebrating Tết.

Recelebration on The 10th of the First Lunar month

    Another fact happened at Đông Thanh Village (Đông Triều, Thanh Hoá) when Duke Nguyễn Khải promised people in his village that he would join them to celebrate Tết on the 3rd day of the first lunar month, but he didn’t return on the third as promised. As they waited for the Duke, the villagers then celebrated Tết on the 4th day i.e. they added one more day to Tết, but the Duke only returned on the 9th and the following day i.e. the 10th, people recelebrated Tết with the Duke whom they deeply respected.

Recelebration on The 5th of the First Lunar month

    Another fact, much clearer, was that when our country was invaded by the Ching at the beginning of the Kỷ Dậu year (1789), people had to run away and had thrown all the square glutinous cakes into the ponds to keep them from being eaten by the invaders. On the 5th i.e. the day King Quang Trung defeated the Ching, people returned to their villages, retrieved the square cakes and recelebrated Tết Later on, every year on the 5th of the first lunar month, people again have a big feast which little by little turns into a custom to celebrate the great victory of King Quang Trung over the Chinese when the King led his troops from Phú Xuân (Huế) to advance into Thăng Long and routed the Chinese invaders. We should know that with the technique of cooking of our folk masses in the past, the square glutinous cakes could be immersed in water (pond, well) even in winter sometimes for a month but could still be edible.

Celebrating of TẾT together on the 30th

    We can also mention an additional event at Đại Bái village (Gia Lương, Hà Bắc) through the custom of recelebrating so tardily the Tết on the 30th of the first lunar month. This is the case of military mandarin Nguyễn Công Hiệp at the same time, a Đại Bái village notable who had the great merits of repairing the Đại Bái’s Temple, reducing taxes for his villagers, transporting stones to build bridges, encouraging the craft of copper hammering etc…

    In the year Mậu Tuất (year of the Dog) 1684 he was very busy with his military affairs and could return to his village to celebrate Tết only on the 28th of the first lunar month. He then gave to every villager of 18 years old and more 3 “tiền” (kind of old coin money) to recelebrate Tết together on the 30th of the first lunar month. From that time on, the custom of celebrating together Tết on the 30th of the first lunar month has come to life. Later on, he came to the South and passed away while the aforesaid custom is a means for his village’s people to get together and think of him and his memory2.

NOTE:of Associate Professor HUNG NGUYEN MANH, Doctor of Phylosophy in History.
2 According to LÊ TRUNG VŨ – Traditional Tết of the Vietnamese – Quoted book, pp.146 to 149.

BAN TU THU
01 /2020

NOTE:
◊  Source: Vietnamese Lunar New Year – Major Festival – Asso. Prof. HUNG NGUYEN MANH, Doctor of Phylosophy in History.
◊  Bold text and sepia images has been set by Ban Tu Thu – thanhdiavietnamhoc.com

SEE ALSO:
◊  From Sketches in early 20th century to traditional rituals and festival.
◊  Signification of the term “Tết”
◊  Lunar New Year Festival
◊  Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for KITCHEN and CAKES
◊  Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for MARKETING – Section 1
◊  Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for MARKETING – Section 2
◊  Concerns of PROVIDENT PEOPLE – Concerns for Dept payment
◊  In SOUTHERN PART of the COUNTRY: a HOST of PARALLEL CONCERNS
◊  The tray of Five fruits
◊  The Arrival of New Year
◊  SPRING SCROLLS – Section 1
◊  The Cult of The Deities of the Kitchen – Section 1
◊  The Cult of The Deities of the Kitchen – Section 2
◊  The Cult of The Deities of the Kitchen – Section 3
◊  Waiting for the NEW YEAR – Section 1
◊  Vietnam Lunar New Year – vi-VersiGoo
◊  etc.

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