January, 03 2014 09:27:37

Should the solar and lunar new years be merged in Viet Nam?

While many people are eagerly waiting for the nine-day Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, members of the public in Viet Nam are divided in a controversial debate over whether Viet Nam should celebrate only one New Year festival instead of two.

Those in favour, including economists and experts, argue that the different vacations between the solar and lunar new years affect businesses and production. They say international integration was a reason to celebrate just one New Year, while accepting one longer vacation. Those against, however, claimed that Tet ­ represents a long-standing tradition that should be preserved.

What do you think about this? Would you be for or against, without mentioning the fact that everyone loves holidays?

Please reply by email to: opinion@vnsmail.com, or by fax to (84-4) 3 933 2311. Letters can be sent to The Editor, Viet Nam News, 79 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Ha Noi. Replies to next week's questions must be received by Thursday morning, January 09, 2014. — VNS

The Editor - opinion@vnsmail.com   The Editor
January, 09 2014 09:52:45
@Ernie Saracki: you had the point. See it this way: some people out there are suggesting to celebrate the lunar New Year (Tet) in the solar New Year instead. It means there will be no lunar calendar for the Tet, all will go with the solar calendar. So all Tet traditions will be celebrated during the New Year festival instead of two different new years within one or two months. For example, people will release the fish as the transport means for the Kitchen God to go to Heaven on December 23, have four days off including the last day of the old year and three days of the new years on December 31, January 1, 2, 3 as tradition but not on lunar calendar. Hope this make it clear to you.
George Nguyen - George0330@hotmail.com   George Nguyen
January, 09 2014 09:24:42
I've worked in 7 different countries and found that there is a lack of productivity during Christmas, New Year, and Lunar New Year a 2-month span including business contact difficulty. As business man in Vietnam, I've found that during these 2 months, quality of works are negatively affected. It is however a conscious and collective decision to "play hard" without "work hard" unless it is a private business which basically takes only 3 days off. I believe the other 10 months are also spent at coffee shops about 20-25% which is also a cultural characteristic; perhaps the Vietnamese work better at coffee shops than at brick and mortar, confined office.
Ernie Saracki - Esaracki@juno.com   Ernie Saracki
January, 06 2014 19:50:19
HOW would this work, exactly?? Tet is actually never any earlier than January 21st on the Gregorian Calendar, and Solar new year's is ALWAYS January 1st! This makes no sense: You would actually have a MINIMUM of a thirty-day celebration if you tried to "combine" the two near years!
Robert Fries - scott17110@yahoo.com   Robert Fries
January, 03 2014 22:29:58
As a foreigner, I fell in love with Vietnam due to friendly people, different customs and cultural differences. I have learned much and have much more to learn. Tet is special to me as I am married to a Vietnamese woman and I enjoy following all the customs associated with it. Being with family and friends during this special time is one of my favorite experiences. We share the experience of the fantastic flower displays in downtown HCMC and the parks. My vote is to keep Tet and all it represents. Please don't dilute it by tacking on an additional holiday. The other New Year could be simply recognized for one evening for those who wish, a special dinner or party. In the US, more and more people don't celebrate it as drunk drivers place too many people at risk for folks to risk traveling somewhere for a party.
Võ Lai - volaipr1979@mail.com   Võ Lai
January, 03 2014 21:16:38
Each nation has its own tradition. Lunar New Year has been kept by Vietnamese for a long time and considered on of the contry's precious traditions.It is the time for family menbers to get together and share many things. For those reasons, I strongly disagree with the intergration of the two occasions into one.
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