February 1st 2022 marks the Lunar New Year. This is an important day in both Chinese and Vietnamese cultures. In Chinese culture it is known as Chinese New Year, and in Vietnamese culture it is known as Tet.
This year is the Year of the Tiger. According to legend, Tiger was confident that no one could compete with its speed and vigour for the celestial race that would decide the order of the zodiacs. However, when Tiger climbed out of the river, thinking it was first, it was informed that Rat placed first for its cunning and Ox placed second for its diligence. This left the king of the jungle having to settle for third place.
People who are born in the Year of the Tiger are considered to be vigorous and ambitious, daring and courageous, enthusiastic and generous, self-confident with a sense of justice and a commitment to help others for the greater good.
In Mandarin, the most common way to wish your family and close friends a happy Chinese New Year is by saying “Xīnnián hǎo” (新年好), literally meaning ‘New Year Goodness’ or ‘Good New Year’. In Cantonese, the common way to say ‘Happy Lunar New Year’ is “Gong hei fat choy” (恭喜发财), which means ‘Wishing you happiness and prosperity.’ To wish a Vietnamese person a happy new year, the common refrain is Chúc mừng năm mới! It literally translates as “Wish happy year new!”
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