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7 perfect gifts for Vietnamese Lunar New Year

Don't know what souvenirs to select from when visiting Vietnam during the Lunar New Year Tet holiday?

18/01/2016 11:20:00
These red envelopes and masks are among the things that Vietnamese often buy for the biggest festival of the year.
Red envelopes

 7 perfect gifts for Vietnamese Lunar New Year - 1

 Photo credit: VnExpress

These sparkling and attractive envelopes are ubiquitous around Vietnam beforeTet.
Vietnamese put money into the envelopes and then give them to children and the elderly as lucky money in one of their most important Tet customs: li xi. They also use the envelopes as traditional decorations to hang on their peach or apricot blossom trees.
While the envelopes are usually in red, which is a lucky color in Vietnamese folk belief, there are also other colors like yellow and green. They are often decorated with good luck wishes, either in Chinese or Vietnamese, and the year’s zodiac animal.
A stack of 10 pieces are often sold at VND20,000-50,000 (US$0.9-2.3).
Goat-themed decorations

 7 perfect gifts for Vietnamese Lunar New Year - 2

 Photo credit: VnExpress

Items like figurines and paperweights are themed on goats – the new year’s zodiac animal in Vietnam.
At a decorative stone market in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 5, for instance, products like necklace beads and key rings are sold at VND40,000-200,000 apiece.

 7 perfect gifts for Vietnamese Lunar New Year - 3

 Photo credit: VnExpress

Lanterns are a favorite decoration of Vietnamese during Tet and other holidays, especially in Hanoi, the ancient town of Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City. They have different shapes, sizes, colors, and even materials, including paper and fabric.
Each lantern costs VND30,000-200,000.
To he

 7 perfect gifts for Vietnamese Lunar New Year - 4

 Photo credit: VnExpress

To he, or figurines that are made from glutinous rice and food colorings, was once a favorite toy among Vietnamese children. Although it is now rarely seen, especially in big cities, it is a common souvenir at Tet markets.
Each figurine is priced at VND10,000.

 7 perfect gifts for Vietnamese Lunar New Year - 5

Photo credit: VnExpress

The most common mask to be sold in Vietnam this time of the year is that of ong Dia – a happy-go-lucky Vietnamese earth god who was said to have tamed qilin, a mythical creature, making it help and bless humans with peace and wealth.
Therefore, during lion or qilin dance performances that Vietnamese often organize to celebrate big ceremonies and festivals, like Tet, one of the dancers will wear this ong Dia mask and a big fake belly.
Vietnamese often buy the masks along with lion or qilin heads for their children so the latter can have their own dances during the Lunar New Year.
Each mask costs VND10,000-30,000.
Hanging scrolls

 7 perfect gifts for Vietnamese Lunar New Year - 6

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Vietnamese traditionally hang scrolls with good luck wishes at home during Tet.
Although many still prefer big paper scrolls with handwritten wishes, in recent years miniature scrolls that are made of red fabric and printed with wishes are also well-liked. Many people hang them as decorations on their ancestry altars, or on apricot and peach blossom trees.
A miniature hanging scrolls costs VND25,000 on average.
Dong Ho paintings

 7 perfect gifts for Vietnamese Lunar New Year - 7

 Photo credit: VnExpress

During the Lunar New Year, many Vietnamese love decorating their houses with the traditional paintings that originate from Dong Ho Village in the northern province of Bac Ninh. Among the paintings’ main themes are good luck wishes and cultural activities.
Each framed Dong Ho painting costs at least VND200,000.
The original Vietnamese story can be found here on VnExpress

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