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Springtime of love
Thursday,  2/7/2019, 08:37 

Springtime of love

By staff writers

A couple expressing love at a Lunar New Year celebration - PHOTO: TRUONG THANH TUNG

Tet, the Lunar New Year, provides a chance for love to blossom

Vietnam boasts a coast of more than 3,200 kilometers in length. The overland distance between its two biggest metropolises, Hanoi and HCMC, is over 1,700 kilometers.

It is not a surprise therefore that the weather in Vietnam is diverse. As the country is in the tropics, Vietnam has a tropical climate remarkably influenced by monsoon. In the north, there are four seasons—spring, summer, fall and winter. Meanwhile, the southern part of the country has only two seasons, the dry one and the wet one.

That’s how Vietnam’s climate is like. When it comes to life, however, Tet—the Lunar New Year—is often associated with spring. In the Vietnamese language, the phrase “đón Xuân” (literally, welcoming spring) actually means Tet is coming and we are welcoming it.

Then, why is Tet attached to spring?

One may argue that Tet is in the springtime in Vietnam. Yet it is only part of the comprehensive answer.

Like many parts of the world, the start of the springtime in Vietnam marks the end of winter when wetness and coldness give way to a warmer weather. Vegetation becomes lush again after a long time of coldness. Greenery bursting with vitality radiates its liveliness which in turn re-energizes humans.

In Vietnam, spring starts a new year, and it is also the beginning of many other new things.

When the world around is replete with beautiful scenes, people feel happier and are more receptive to others. Romantic love is easy to blossom. Vietnamese therefore often say springtime is a time of love when the distance from one heart to another is shorter. Springtime—with all its distinctive appearance, flavor, sound and diversity—serves as a catalyst for romantic love.

Spring provides a lovely setting for people to start their love affairs as lovers feel the urge to express or confess their love. Words of love are easier to be uttered and accepted.

But romantic love is just part of the picture. Springtime is also a time for family love. It is simply because Tet is a time of family reunion.

In Vietnam, Tet can be said to be the “homecoming season” when millions of Vietnamese temporarily set aside all their daily business affairs to return to where their parents are, often also their birth places. Given the fact that up to 60% of the Vietnamese population are still living in the countryside, what may be expected of Tet is crowds of people flocking to airports, and coach and train stations waiting for their turn to go back to their former homes.

Those trips are often exhausting but deserving. After hours or days in some cases, the “returnees” will be rewarded with incomparable reunion with their loved ones.

Vietnamese still keep their habit of homecoming and that is part of the brightest side of Tet. Family members and their spouses as well as children meet again after a busy year. Normally, as a Tet tradition, they would together commemorate their deceased ancestors at the altar, and stick together on New Year’s Eve waiting for the new year to arrive before saying good wishes to the elderly and to one another. On this occasion, family bond stands a chance of being strengthened again.

That is one of the many wonderful things Tet has to offer. That may also be why efforts to terminate Tet has so far been foiled despite the multiple benefits advocates of the “no-Tet school” are able to list.

Tet, a time to love, will be out there as long as people want it to.

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