Following are traditional Tet holiday customs of the San Chi ethnic minority in Vietnam. Each Vietnamese ethnic group has its own festivals, customs, beliefs and cultural practice. The Tet festival of the San Chi people lasts about half a month, during which time many exciting cultural and community activities take place.
When spring comes, the ethnic San Chi people start preparing for Tet (lunar New Year Festival). They make traditional food to offer to their ancestors during the holiday. Like other ethnic groups, San Chi people also erect Neu poles from Vau trees – symbols of spring – to pray for peace and prosperity. High Neu poles, they believe, will bring good business. Any house without a pole is not considered to be really celebrating Tet.
Before lowering the Neu poles, the San Chi ethnic group select an auspicious direction to pray for support from the spirits. Then the Tet holiday ends, the festival season begins.