An unusual Tet
The Lunar New Year is the most important celebration in Vietnam. Cities turns red and gold, streets are packed with shoppers and the air is filled with joy and excitement. For a week, Vietnamese will express their respects for ancestors as well as welcoming the New Year with family members.
It always feels like Hanoi is suddenly depleted of all its vibrant energy: all the shops are closed, the whole town is on pause.
This year is no exception, but for another reason.
“Don’t travel for the next 10 days, wait for the Ox“
A few days ago, Hanoi and some neighbouring cities have experienced new cases of Covid19. Hanoi authorities are so serious about tackling the pandemy that it only took a few days before they ordered the closing of schools. Mask is compulsory (unless you want to pay 150$ fine) and public gatherings are forbidden.
The Governement has encouraged its citizens not to travel for the next 10 days – and all my Vietnamese friends have canceled their plans to play it safe. I am always so impressed at their resilience. They think family and community first. Streets are deserted, businesses are down again, yet no complain. As Nga our helper always says ” our wealth is our health“. Before her week holiday, she also confessed to be less worry about Covid this coming year, as “2021 is the year of the Ox“.
Eagerly waiting for the Buffalo to run 2021
Feb. 12 marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox. The second animal of the Chinese zodiac, the ox denotes the hard work, positivity and honesty that will be manifested in all of us in the coming 12 months, according to astrologers.
In Asia, it is considered an animal of strength that is associated with harvests and fertility. It is usually associated with diligence, gratitude and loyalty. It is seen as altruistic as it serves mankind. In Japan, many shrines are decorated with cows, as they are said to have the power to cure diseases.
Amen to that !
So we have decided to cancel our holidays and stay in Hanoi. We definitely don’t want to take the risk of being stranded far from home in case the Government decides on a sudden lockdown. And rumors are spreading that there could be a new quarantine of 3 weeks. Naaaahh, better wait for the ox.
To a new year filled with vibrant health, joy and happiness ! “Chúc Mừng Năm Mới” to all our Vietnamese friends!