Canadian Train

I Wish You A Merry Christmas

It is finally upon us – Christmas Eve followed by Christmas Day. My favourite holiday of the entire year. I am so excited for tomorrow. I stayed up late wrapping gifts tonight so that tomorrow I can enjoy my time with my family without stressing over the mounds of gifts waiting to be wrapped. 

I wanted to take a moment to share what I feel to be the most important part of Christmas – Christ. I think the following excerpt expresses it best:

“Finding the real joy of Christmas comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done. We find the real joy of Christmas when we make the Savior the focus of the season.

Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He came forth from heaven to live on earth as mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He lived for us, and He died for us. What can we, in return, give to Him?

Our celebration of Christmas should be a reflection of the love and selflessness taught by the Savior. Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. We feel more kindly one to another. We reach out in love to help those less fortunate. Our hearts are softened. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things. To catch the real meaning of the spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the Spirit of Christ.”  -Thomas Monson

I want to wish each of you a very, Merry Christmas full of love and laughter and family and friends and wrapping paper and presents and happiness and joy. I wish each of you to have whatever Christmas miracle you have been praying for. I believe that magic happens at Christmas. I truly do. And may all of us remember the person whose birth we celebrate, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas to you all, and to all a good night.

Christmas Lights

Happiness

A New Way Of Life

Hygge – the Danish not-so-easy-to-define word for happiness, coziness, nostalgia, and contentment – is a big part of why Denmark is consistently ranked as one of the happiest places in the world. We, as Canadians, on the other hand, seem to be on a constant pursuit of happiness, yet don’t rank anywhere close to the Danes. What gives?

Maybe – just maybe – instead of pursuing the classic Canadian dream, minimalism, capitalism, or whatever new fad is trending, we should instead pursue the tried-and-true notion of hygge. We know it works, so why not? We’ve got nothing to lose.

Luckily, incorporating aspects of hygge into your life is easy because you get instant gratification. That’s because one of the most important principles of hygge is living in the moment. So all of these things will make you feel good right now.

Ready to embrace hygge and live like the Danish do? Here are things you can do to add hygge to your life:

Dim The Lighting

Hygge is all about the lighting – warm, deep, dim lighting. The fluorescent and intense overhead lighting that has worked its way into our Canadian homes and offices just doesn’t work for the Danes.

In fact, for them, the ideal lighting comes from fireplaces and candles. The yellowish glow, the flickering, even the noise adds to the feeling of hygge.

So open up the fireplace tonight and pull out some candles! And if you’re an anxious worrier like me, don’t stress! There are battery-powered candles that give you the exact same effect, but without the fire hazard…and they’ve got timers!

Make More Soups

Hygge is achieved through simplicity and indulgence. If it makes you feel cozy, even better. If time and thought has been put into its preparation, you’ve got triple the hygge! So what better way to experience (or intensify) hygge, than by making a homemade soup.

So pull out your crock pot and make a stew that will simmer all day. The smell will be amazing, the soup will taste delicious, and you will be indulging without getting too indulgent (if you know what I mean).

Dress To Impress And Be Comfortable

We, as Canadians, are obsessed with dressing to impress and too often it comes at the cost of our comfort. So time to put your thinking cap on and find a way to embrace comfortable clothing without making yourself feel like a slob (because you need to feel comfortable too!).

If you really want to channel your inner hygge, you can start by investing in a really, really comfortable pair of socks. The kind of socks that almost classify as slippers. The ones that you can’t wait to get your feet into after a long day. Those are hygge.

Read A Real Book

Your comfy socks are on, your stew is simmering in the crock pot, so now it’s time to read by yourself…the old fashioned-way.

Get a real book – not your Kindle, phone, or iPad – and read in your favourite cozy nook. Turn your phone off. Let this just be time to relax your body and stimulate your brain.

Read whatever you want. Fiction, non-fiction, romance, suspense. Whatever YOU want.

And don’t feel like it has to be a new book! Pull your Harry Potter collection off the shelf and reread your favourite parts. Grab your favourite classic and reread it one more time!

If It Brings You Joy, Add It

By now, we all know the Konmari Method of cleaning your house – if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it.

Well, the hyggelig (Danish for hygge-like) way of cleaning your house is similar, but with one very important twist – if it brings you joy, add it.

Yep, you heard me right. You now have permission to pull your cat figurines back out of hiding, find those horrible pants with holes that everyone (except for you!) hated, and fill your home with things you love.

Be Active Outside

We all know that exercise is good – it makes you healthy, happy, clears your head, blah, blah, blah. So we schedule an hour here or there to go for a run or take a cardio class.

Unfortunately, that’s not the key to happiness…or hygge.

To add more hygge to your life, you need to make exercise fun – like, so fun you don’t even call it exercise. And it needs to happen outside.

So go for a hike, make a snowman, explore the beach, ride your bike.

Doing this doubles your hygge. Here’s why:

There’s something special about being outside. Fresh air and nature are important elements of hygge, so spending a lot of time outside doing something fun will create instant hygge.

The doubling occurs when you come home. You’re tired, but satisfied, so your mind and body will want nothing more than additional hygge. You won’t even have to think twice. Just put on your comfy socks, make a cup of hot cocoa, and settle into your cozy nook for the next chapter of your favourite book.

Make Your Gifts

Giving someone a gift is always a good way to bring happiness to your life as well as theirs. To take that happiness to the next level (the level of hygge), make a gift for them.

I know this is intimidating. Even more, I know this is time-consuming. But THAT is what makes homemade gifts so hyggelig – for both you and the person receiving the gift. A ridiculous amount of time is typically put into making homemade gifts, which adds a lot of thought to the present, but also gives you time to do something out of your normal routine. It’s a break for your mind and body.

Start A Tradition

One of the biggest components of hygge is that warm and cozy feeling that comes with something nostalgic – like waking up on Christmas morning or spending the day preparing for Thanksgiving. These traditions pair naturally with hygge…so why not make more of them?

Whether you start a completely new one (like a special family vacation in the middle of spring) or just build off of one you already have (like adding a mid-day family movie to Christmas), adding a new tradition to your life will definitely increase your hygge exposure.

And the absolute best part of this hygge addition is that you’re spreading the hygge-love to the family and friends that will be joining you.

Attend More Social Get-Togethers

One of the easiest and quickest ways to add hygge to your life is to simply attend (or hold) more social get-togethers.

Strong relationships help make hygge happen, so spending time with friends and family sets you up for more and more happiness.

If you want the most hygge possible, try to keep the gatherings to a small number of people (4-6). This makes the get-together more intimate and you’re more likely to let yourself relax.

Vacation More

I know this is easier said than done, both because of the cost and the time. But THIS (paired with the next section below) is possibly the biggest – and most impactful – difference between the Danish and us.

You need to vacation more. Your hygge depends on it.

It does NOT need to be expensive. It does NOT need to be elaborate. You don’t even need to necessarily go anywhere! Just take time to vacation.

This doesn’t mean take a few days off from work to catch up on chores, finally get your car detailed, and schedule that doctor appointment you’ve been pushing off.

You need to do something fun, new, and relaxing. Something with your family, friends, or just alone. Something that will give you a warm and fuzzy feeling when you look back on it.

Work Less

I know – you can’t vacation more if you work less. You can’t even work less if you don’t vacation more.

Except that you can. And you have to…at least, you do if you really want to create hygge in your life.

What I mean by “work less” is this:

Leave when you say you are going to leave. Don’t stay late. When you’re home, stop working. Prioritize your non-work life the same way you prioritize your work life. Take sick days when you are sick. Set clear expectations with your employer (they may surprise you!).

This may not happen overnight, but again, it is one of the defining characteristics of the Danes and one of the biggest reasons they experience so much more happiness than we do.

So for the sake of hygge, don’t blow this one off! Even if it can only work its way into your 5-year plan, it will be worth it.

I hope you’re able to incorporate at least a few of these hygge ideas into your life! Come back and let me know how they work out for you.

Wheat Field

Vacation From Writing

As some of you know (from being subscribed to my email list), I have taken a bit of a break this summer to refresh and refocus. I have had a lot going on in my personal life these past few months – and I was also in the middle of several commitments – and I just began to feel overwhelmed at the idea of keeping up with this blog.

Simply put, I was putting way too much pressure on myself to grind out a particular number of posts each week. And, every writer knows that when you have a deadline (even if it’s self-imposed), it can be extremely difficult to produce quality content. I felt like I had all of these wonderful post ideas, but I would run out of time to write them well. I wasn’t completely happy with some of the posts I published because I wrote them in haste. I don’t like that feeling one bit!

After much thought and prayer, I decided to take a break from hitting the “publish” button. I would continue to write as I felt inspired, but I would tuck the drafts away for later use. I just needed some time to sit back, enjoy my summer, spend time with Family, put 100% into all of my commitments, read an insane amount of books…and, well, breathe.

So, in a nutshell, that is what I mean when I say I needed to “refresh.” You may also recall my use of the word “refocus,” and you may be wondering why I felt the need to refocus…

When I first started blogging, my purpose was to use this little corner of the web as a place where I could share the lessons I am learning in my walk with life. Over the  past year, however, I began to take notice of what other bloggers were doing, and I felt like what I was doing was inadequate. So I began to explore opportunities and do what other bloggers were doing.

And then I began to ask myself: Why am I blogging? Why do I do what I do? What’s the purpose of this? Am I happy with the content I am putting out there for the world to read?

I realized that I don’t want to be the sort of blogger who posts about all these brands on a continual basis. Promoting the products of others is just not what I am here for. I have no interest in making money from blogging itself. (I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m saying it’s just not me).

Once I realized what I didn’t want to do with blogging, I naturally had to ask myself: What do I want to accomplish by blogging?

After playing around with different types of (non-sponsored) content, and after a break from publishing anything at all, I came up with the following answer:

First and foremost, I am here to encourage you. Anytime the Lord lays a lesson on my heart, you can bet I’ll be right here share it with you. It could be about love, Family, trials…anything at all, really. This has been true from the moment I began blogging, and it will continue to be the case as long as I am blogging.

Secondly, I am here to inspire you to live life well, no matter what season of life you find yourself in. I aim to accomplish this by sharing my life with you – this includes sharing my life’s big moments with you, encouraging you to make your house a home, inspiring you to read more and helping you have some fun/not take life too seriously!

When I write these lighter types of posts, I simply draw from things that inspire me and speak life into my soul! Farmhouse decor, food…food and more food, interactions with people from all walks of life, Family, music, travels, books, recipes…these are all things that I love and want to share with you.

Lastly, I am here to share my skills with you. I am a small business owner. You will find that I use this blog to share my experiences and lessons from time to time. But, I have absolutely no desire to make you feel pressured to buy my products. However, I need a place to share what I am creating with the world. I hope you don’t mind.

If any of that sounds remotely interesting to you, I want to Thank You for being here. For sharing this little corner of the world with me. And, most important, for waiting as I took my break this summer.

As the fictitious character Benjamin Button once put it:

“It’s never too late…to be whoever you want to be…You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing…I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

I really love this quote, and this way of looking at life. It’s never too late to do anything. And if there is one thing I know about myself it’s that I have the courage to adjust, adapt and start all over if necessary in order to live a life I’m proud of, a life that makes me happy.

Until next post!

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

Life is a precious gift. There are no guarantees.

This Father’s Day hug your Dad a little tighter; savour the moment a little longer. If you have grievances, let them go and return to love. Appreciate the time together, because you never know how long you’re going to get.

To all the awesome Dad’s in the world…I am sending you a wave of love from my heart. Thank You for your steadfast presence, and fatherly love. Thank you for having our backs, and being our rock! We see you, appreciate you, and love you.

To my Dad,

I recently realized the true depth and breadth of your presence. You may not have been as vocal as Momma, and you may never have been the parent who escorted us around from activity to activity, or even the first parent we called in times of despair – all of that has always been her job. But, I’ve realized that your spirit, your influence, your character, and your quiet, yet strong presence are invaluable to me.

In our Mother’s flurry, you remain calm, together, firm and gentle. And, while I tend to naturally lean more towards my Mother’s worrisome nature, I have the privilege of even a drop of your cool mystique woven into my being.

You’ve taught me to be fair, humble, kind, independent; to be a rebel, a free-spirit, and to be open. In you I see the gift of inherit, impeccable intelligence and the richness born from a devotion to order. I strive to replicate your seemingly effortless dedication to self-love and personal care. You’ve been far from perfect, but I’ve watched you grow and become a better version of yourself, which not only makes me proud, but has given me deep knowing about the gifts life brings with time and maturity.

You are the stick from which I measure the greatness of a man. I am grateful for your love and devotion and my greatest teacher of giving and receiving.

I love you forever and miss you everyday.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

From your daughter with love,

I Love You Mommy

Happy Mother’s Day

Flower Border

Happy Mother’s Day!

So I know we love them dearly all year round, but today is the day to really show it. Shower her with love and attention, spoil her rotten and of course abide by the number one Mother’s Day rule – she’s off duty and banned from lifting a finger.

Unfortunately, I will not be spending Mother’s Day with Momma this year but fear not she will be thoroughly pampered on my next visit to BC on her birthday.

She’s my best friend, my guardian angel, and one of the strongest women I know. I couldn’t live without her.

Look, she’s forever taking care of me…

Mommy

When I started writing this post, I was thinking about how inspiring and amazing Momma is. She has managed to put up with me for 34 years for a start.

But it got me thinking about all the incredible things she’s achieved – raising four children, working hard every single day, living in another country that isn’t the one she grew up in, caring for her own Mom, who is a world away when she became unwell and still being one of the most selfless people I know. She will move mountains for me, my siblings and her grandkids. In fact, she’ll try to move mountains for just about anybody.

We have also just celebrated International Women’s Day, which, at its heart, is about celebrating the achievements of women, past and present, from all around the world. It’s about praising those women who have broken through boundaries, inspired younger generations and given others a voice.

For me, my Mother is my strength, inspiration and support. She has been one of my biggest cheerleaders since I started this blogging adventure. During the times when I have stopped believing in myself, she has unlocked my strength within and encouraged me to keep on going.

Today we celebrate Mothers. But it’s equally important for us to celebrate ourselves.

Whoever you are, wherever you are reading this – you are capable of incredible things.

We can achieve anything we put our minds to. So, let’s continue to break through glass ceilings, chart new adventures, dream big dreams and lift each other. Because when we lift each other, we rise together.

And in the moments of doubt and uncertainty (which are bound to happen), our Mothers will always be there believing in us.

Mommy

Momma, I want to Thank You for helping me to grow into the strong woman I am today and for always having belief in my dreams. I am always thinking of you. Your encouragement on all of my endeavors is all that I hope for and my main goal in life is to make you and Dad proud.

We have been to hell and back and I can never repay you for everything you have done for me. You mean more to me than everything in the world.

When I grow up, I want to be like you – kind, beautiful, strong, wise and just pure awesome.

I LOVE YOU AND I CHERISH YOU MOMMY.

BIG BEARS HUGS, ALWAYS.

And BIG bear hugs to all Moms! I hope you enjoy a glass of Prosecco or two.

Have a cherished Mother’s Day!

Sunset

Living Simple Is Simply The Best

One of the greatest things I’ve learned from travelling is that most people want the same things in life. They want to be happy and healthy, and they want their families and friends to be happy and healthy, too. We all work and laugh and love. We all bleed the same blood. And the truth is, despite the endless barrage of bad news in the media, most people around the world are good. Most people will help you out if you’re in a bind, and most will go out of their way to do so. I’ve met people from all walks of life who have opened up their doors to me (or their arms, or their bottles of vodka, or whatever it is that I needed at that moment in time). While not every single experience I’ve had has been peaches and cream, for the most part the human race helps itself out, and I love that about us.

TraditionsThis photo makes me smile. New friends from all over the world wearing traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai with matching head piece and conical leaf hat.   Dog Lover“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner” ~Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Good Eats And Beautiful People

“For Vietnamese people, food is our life; we are forever eating, cooking and talking about food. Food is communication – food is culture” 

Vietnamese FoodSome of the best hidden gems are tucked away in the alley ways – don’t judge based on looks, as they are forever deceiving.

Banh MiBanh Mi on the streets of Vietnam. I have eaten these every day sometimes twice a day, always with different ingredients and always just as good as the last!

Banh CuonThis is one of my all time favourite Vietnamese dishes – Banh Cuon! Enjoying all the street foods Vietnam has to offer.

VietnamMy kind of place…cooking a nice meal for the ones I love and for new friends I’ve grown to adore.

VietnamQuoc starting his work day at his Banh Mi Bakery at 3:00am every single day.

Cafe Sua DaCa Phe Trung – Vietnamese Coffee With Vanilla Egg Custard.

Vietnam EatsSweet Lady enjoying her breakfast.

VietnamIsn’t he just the cutest – so precious!

Food Making99 years old and still making Banh. I want to be just like this beautiful woman when I’m 99…

Eggs

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all my Family, Friends and Readers. I hope you have a beautiful day as you celebrate this special holiday.

May you feel the joy of the presence of Jesus. The Lord has risen to Bless us this Easter. And I pray that the love of God is resurrected, reborn and renewed in your heart.

Yesterday I made Easter dinner for my Family and the festivities continues today. Starting off with a special brunch, followed with dying Easter eggs and a Easter egg hunt. Finishing the day off with another big dinner and dessert is a must! I love cooking and making the people I love feel special because they are important to me. I am blessed!

Easter DinnerEaster DinnerEaster Dinner

 

 

chuc mung nam moi

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới

Friday February 16, 2018 marks the first day of the Lunar New Year, ushering in the Year of the Dog.

Lunar New Year

Năm mới, chúc nhà ấm no, hạnh phúc. Chúc người người vui vẻ mạnh khỏe, phát tài phát lộc. Chúc cho bản thân gặp nhiều may mắn, bớt dại, yêu bản thân hơn, quên những thứ cần quên, nhớ những điều cần nhớ, năm mới sẽ có niềm vui mới.

Happy Lunar New Year

Red envelopes ( Lì Xì ) which signifies Prosperity and Good Luck graces my cherry blossom tree

Chuc Mung Nam Moi

Paying respects to my Ancestors with a home cooked meal featuring traditional Tết food

Every end marks a new beginning. Keep your spirits and determination unshaken, and you shall always walk the glory road. With courage, faith and great effort, you shall achieve everything you desire.

Wishing you and your Family a New Year filled with Good Health, Prosperity, Beautiful Moments and Treasured Memories. Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! Happy Lunar New Year!

Tet

Vietnamese Tết

Tet DogTết Nguyên Đán or Tết is the biggest, the oldest, and the most important traditional holiday of Vietnam. It is the Vietnamese Lunar New Year marking the arrival of Spring. Possessing the same meaning as the Western New Year, this sacred eve is considered as the transition between the Old and New Year. Furthermore, for Vietnamese people, Tết profoundly affects the local’s conception of life, customs, and beliefs.

Tết takes place from the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day. This year Tết takes place on Friday February 16th. There are many customs practiced during Tết such as visiting relatives and friends, forgetting the troubles of the past year and hoping for a better upcoming year, ancestral worship, wishing New Year’s greetings, and giving lucky money to children and elderly people.

Vietnamese New Year is closely linked to its Chinese counterpart, and much like their Northern cousins, each of Vietnam’s Lunar years are named after an animal. In the lead up to a New Lunar Year, the animal symbol of the coming year is woven into the decorations on homes, buildings and ancestral altars.

Despite its close connections to Chinese New Year, Vietnam’s Tết holiday is distinct not only in geography, but in its traditions and history, too. Like all Vietnamese holidays, Tết is steeped in tradition and folklore that has been passed down through generations, and these stories are unique to Vietnam.

New YearsIn the weeks before Tết, every house is usually decorated by Ochna Integerrima (in Central and South Vietnam) or Peach Flower (in North Vietnam). In the North or Central, the Kumquat tree is a popular decoration for the living room during Tết. Its many fruits symbolize the fertility and fruitfulness that the family hopes for in the coming year.

Lucky TreeVietnamese cities literally bloom with heavily flowering trees and shrubs that signal prosperity and pots of red and yellow flowers. They believe that the colour of red and yellow will bring good fortune, which may explain why these colours can be seen everywhere during the Lunar New Year. The decorations will also consist of “Con Chó” – the zodiac animal of the year. There are a total of twelve animals and each will represent a Lunar year. So since 2018 is the Year of the Dog, you will come across many decorations featuring an image of a Dog.

TetNowadays, on the eve before Tết, each family cooks special holiday foods such as Bánh Chưng or Bánh Tét as we call them in the South. Preparations for the foods are quite extensive. Family members often take turns to keep watch on the fire overnight, telling each other stories about Tết of past years. Even in the city, you’ll find scenes of families working together to wrap the cakes and press them into a mold before putting them into a big pot to boil. Sealed up tightly in banana leaves, the cakes take up to 12 hours to cook, meaning the family stays up the whole night to tend to the fire, passing the hours by telling stories and reminiscing. The making of the cakes seems almost secondary to the memories made by staying up all night with loved ones. All of the food prepared are first offered up to ancestors before being enjoyed by all.

Traditional Foods For Tết

  1. Bánh Chưng (Sticky Square Cake) or Bánh Tét (Sticky Round Cake)

Bánh Chưng or Bánh Tét is made from glutinous rice, mung beans, and pork, covered by phrynium leaves or banana leaves. The cake is green and square/round, symbolizes the earth, and known as an indispensable dish for Tết.

Banh Tet

2. Thịt Kho Trứng (Vietnamese Braised Pork With Eggs)

The tasty pork and eggs are braised for hours in a light caramel coconut sauce. Creating a dish that is so delicious served over rice with a side of pickled vegetables. The Vietnamese believe that Thịt Kho Trứng will bring them good health and peace to all family members.

Thit Kho

3. Mứt ( Candied/Jam Fruits)

Mứt Tết is very popular during Tết. It is not served in the meals but a snack to welcome guests visiting the house and always kept in beautiful boxes and placed at the table in the living room. This once-in-year mix of snack is very large in variety, with so many ingredients: ginger, carrot, coconut, pineapple, pumpkin, lotus seed, star fruit, etc.

Mut

4. Dưa Muối (Pickled Vegetables)

Tết is definitely a fairyland for pickle lovers. There are various recipes to make pickled vegetables  – some made of onions, carrots, garlic, bean sprouts, chives, daikon etc. This is a food commonly served with oily dishes during the holiday.

Pickled VegetablesPeople usually return to their families during Tết. Some return to worship at the family altar or visit the graves of their ancestors in their homeland to pay their respects. They will have a tray of five different fruits on their altar called “Ngũ Quả”. It is an integral part of the traditional New Year’s Day of Vietnam. Each fruit presented on the tray has a specific meaning, and depending on the regional differences, the fruits vary between three areas of the country. Basically, Ngũ Quả includes: Mãng Cầu – Sung – Dừa – Dủ – Xoài (Soursop – Fig – Coconut – Papaya – Mango).

FruitsAlthough Tết is a national holiday among all Vietnamese, each region and religion has its own customs. The actual celebration of Tết differs from family to family and place to place, but a common theme revolves around the idea of family itself – those present and even those who are no longer with us. They’re remembered by plates of food and offerings placed on the family altar where photos of loved ones that have passed on watch over the proceedings.

During the first day of Tết people visit relatives. Traditionally but not strictly, the second day of Tết is usually reserved for friends, while the third day is for teachers.

Since the Vietnamese believe that the very first visitor a family receives has a huge impact on how the following year will pan out for the residents of the house. A person that is  cheerful, of good temper, morality and success will be the lucky sign for the host family and be invited first into the house. This special activity is called xông đất or xông nhà, which is one of the most important rituals during Tết.

TetGiving New Year’s Greetings and Lucky Money (Chúc Tết and Lì Xì ) is a long-standing tradition to wish good things for one another in the upcoming year. Traditionally, people exchange New Year’s wishes, while children give greetings to their Parents, Grandparents, and relatives and receive the lucky money from the adults. It is believed that money put inside exquisitely decorated envelopes may bring luck to the recipient.

The traditional greetings are “Chúc Mừng Năm Mới” (Happy New Year) and “Cung Chúc Tân Xuân” (Gracious Wishes For The New Spring)

People also wish each other Prosperity and Luck.

Common Wishes For Tết Include:

Sống lâu trăm tuổi (long life of 100 years): used by children for elders. Traditionally, everyone is one year older on Tết, so children would wish their grandparents health and longevity.

An khang thịnh vượng (security, good health, and prosperity)

Vạn sự như ý (may myriad things go according to your will)

Sức khỏe dồi dào (plenty of health)

Cung hỉ phát tài (congratulations and be prosperous)

Tiền vô như nước (may money flow in like water)

Lunar New YearIn the days following Tết holiday, most public buildings including museums, schools, shops and restaurants close for celebrations. This often means that the city grinds to a glorious hault for a few days, which can be an experience in and of itself to see Vietnam’s usually frenetic streets nearly empty.

For travelers to Vietnam, Tết might be the most illuminating portrait of traditional Vietnamese culture in modern times. A journey through the heart of the country during the magical season promises what will surely be an unforgettable experience. So if you find yourself in Vietnam during Lunar New Year, prepare to join in on the fun! It’s like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and New Year’s all rolled up into one fun-filled week!