Tradition has it that during the first three days of the new year Vietnamese families go to pagodas and temples to pay respect to the spirits of the land. It’s a time for pilgrims to make solemn prayers for a year of good health, happiness and prosperity. People would often purchase small bags filled with salt to bring home, a symbolic gesture to wish for the households to be plentiful and harmonious in the year to come.
Another popular new year tradition is to ask calligraphers for letters, typically Chinese logogram characters but in recent years Vietnamese modern characters have seen a surge in popularity as well. "Good" characters such as Happiness, Kindness, Prosperity and Enlightenment are popular characters to ask for during the holiday. There are many calligraphers to be found near the Temple of Literature as well as the capital city’s numerous pagodas and temples. — VNS