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The Best Events for Tet New Year in London

The Lunar New Year celebrations in London are among the biggest outside of Asia, and many people, especially the Asian community, look forward to them.

If you are looking for the best way to celebrate the Vietnamese New Year in London, keep reading, you are in the right place!

Image by Pham Tuan

Is Tet and Chinese New Year the same?

Both the Chinese New Year and Vietnamese New Year follow the lunar calendar. Even though it occurs on the same day, the Vietnamese Tet differs from the Chinese New Year in that it follows its own set of customs and ceremonies and has its zodiac signs.

Tet is short for Tet Nguyên đán. This year it falls on January 22, and this year zodiac sign is a Cat. The Cat is the fourth sign in the Vietnamese Zodiac, replacing the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac. It is the most important holiday in Vietnam. It celebrates the coming of spring and is a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate.

What traditions has Tet?

Red and yellow are the colours that symbolise good luck and prosperity in Vietnamese culture. During Tet, people cover their houses with these two vibrant colours alongside apricot tree pots, peach blossom pots, and kumquat tree pots. In the doorframes, wall stickers with messages of wishes of prosperity and harmony for the upcoming year will welcome visitors and family.

For these festivities, traditional dishes are being prepared even two weeks in advance. A must-have is Bánh chưng (Vietnamese sticky rice cake). The popularity of this delicious dish makes it indispensable over Tet Holidays.

Image by Vinh Dao

During the first ten days of the Lunar New Year, families will gather to give their best wishes to each other.

Elders will give red envelopes, Bao lì xì in Vietnamese, to the new generations, as well as guidance and words of wisdom.

Image by DragonImages

Another way of sending red envelopes is sending Vietnamese Dong with Xendpay. Now with our Pay What You Want* you will be saving money on transfers up to £2,000. Choose how much you want to pay in conversion fees, even zero! Registration is easy and free. Download the app here.

Celebrating Tet in London

If you are looking for ways to celebrate the holiday in London, here are some of the best events taking place throughout the city:

Vietnamese New Year Festival at Trafalgar Square – This free event has plenty of fun activities for all ages, including traditional music and dance performances, a food fair and more. The parade will start on Charing Cross Road and will finish in Chinatown.

• Lunar New Year at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich – Great opportunity to attend a free event with loads of activities for family and friends. Live performances and workshops.

• Enjoy Vietnamese food to celebrate Tet with the tastiest food. There is a wide range of restaurants in London. Around the Soho neighbourhood, restaurants like Com Viet or Cay Tre are great places to eat.

Celebrating your family’s traditions keeps you connected to them no matter where you are in the world. Use Xendpay to send a red envelopes!

Girl showing red envelopes. Image by DragonImages

Chúc mừng năm mới!

*Please note a small delivery and card fee may be charged by your bank or your recipient’s bank. Once you exceed your Pay What You Want limit (£2,000 limit for personal accounts and £4,000 for business accounts) a small mandatory conversion fee is charged.