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[Video] Rare Footage Documents How Vietnam Celebrated Tet in 1950

In less than two weeks, the Year of the Rooster will be over, making way for the reign of the Dog in the lunar calendar.

At the moment, Saigoneers are rushing to complete their last work projects, purchase Tet gifts, pray at local pagodas, and hit local flower markets for pots of spring flora to brighten up their homesteads for the festive season. In 2018, some age-old customs – such as lighting firecrackers or sending Tet cards – have slowly become obsolete, but most of the ways Vietnamese celebrate Tet have stayed intact over the years, judging by this rare footage of Vietnam during the Lunar New Year in 1950.

From the look of it, our parents and grandparents mostly enjoyed Tet the same way we do today: enjoy a brisk walk in flower festivals, purchase Tet calligraphy scripts to hang in the living room, get a fortune reading from the local palmist.

The clip runs for four-odd minute and features Tet traditions from all over Vietnam. Most metropolises now largely skip some parts of the Tet celebration shown, like elaborate ceremonies at local temples. However, in rural parts of northern provinces – such as this village in Hanoi – some of these ceremonies are still alive and kicking.

Have a walk down memory lane through this documentary clip, courtesy of YouTube user British Pathé, below. Because the video is mute, you might want to put on some background music. We recommend this iconic song about Saigon or this sleek record.

[Video via YouTube user British Pathé]


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