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Interesting Explanations for Vietnam Lunar New Year
Why is a branch of peach blossoms in the home?
At the approach of Tet, every Vietnamese home is adorned with a branch of peach blossoms. If the time is properly reckoned a peach branch, slightly burned at the end and put in a vase of fresh water, will blossom exactly on the morning of the first day of the New Year .A horticultural marvel, you may think. True enough, but remember that in olden days, the peach branch was used as a charm: it could ward evil spirits that prowled by night.
Legend has it that in the distant past, a peach tree of fantastic size grew on the slopes a mountain in China. It abundant foliage spread for hundreds of leagues around. Two powerful genii lived in it and fed on the flesh of devils and other evil spirits. Naturally, the latter fled of having their dream disturbed.
But at the end of every year, the genii had to go t Heaven to report to the Celestial Lord. Fearing that the evil spirits would do them harm in the genii’s absence, the inhabitants of this mountain cut a branch of the magic peach tree to decorate their ancestral altars.
Some cautious people went even further: They wrote the genii’s names or sketched their likenesses on the peach branch. Very few devils dared come near. That is how the use of peach branches spread and reached Vietnam, where, for centuries, local inhabitants have rejoiced in Tet under the protection of these spring flowers.
Why do people pick a branch of greenery just after midnight on New Year’s Eve?
There was once a blessed land where fairies came when they felt homesick for a stay on earth. They could be seen dancing or chatting. Wonderful trees grew where they left a footprint or a hand print. These trees lost all their leaves with new green dresses in honor of Tet
To ensure a happy new year, the local people picked fresh branches to decorate their thresholds. The time of picking varied from between the eve of Tet and the dawn on the first day of the New Year. But the most auspicious time was assuredly the stroke of midnight on the night of tet will ensure a happy New Year.
Why do people avoid sweeping their house with a broom for the first three days of the New Year?
A legend which no longer fits in with present- day requirements is the story of casting aside the broom during the first three days of the New Year. The story goes that in days gone by, a trader met a poorly dressed little girl while he was crossing Dongting Lake. Struck with pity, he adopted her, and from that day on had amazing success in the most daring business deals.
But one Tet, the little girl broke a valuable vase. To escape a beating, she hid in the refuse heap at the back of the house. The trader, who had grown cruel as he became rich, searched through the rubbish heap with a big broom. The heap was then pushed to the edge of a pond, but the girl was not found. The trader soon became poor: he had swept the Goddess of Fortune out of his house.
Nowadays, hygiene prevails over folklore, but there are still old women in the trading streets of Hanoi who fear a warning from the Department of Health but who are even more afraid of disturbing the Goddess of Fortune. That is why their brooms rest on the first day and sometimes even on the first three days of the year, just as they did in ancient time, when poets and writers had the gift of seeing divinities in human from walking on earth.