2011: Year of the Cat

December 10, 2010

cats in Vietnam have an instinct for knowing their threshold of safety and often stay at the edge of doorways and patios.

Image Credit: Bob Keith, Daily Dadio

The prowler, the Vietnamese year of the cat symbolizes sensitivity, gentleness and kindness. But, be careful, for cats can be like kittens, too. People born in the Vietnamese horoscope years: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, and 1999 are Cats.

Tết Nguyên Đán, more commonly known by its shortened name Tết, is the most important and popular holiday and festival in Vietnam. It is the Vietnamese New Year marking the arrival of spring based on the Lunar calendar, a lunisolar calendar. The name Tết Nguyên Đán is Sino-Vietnamese for Feast of the First Morning, derived from the Hán nôm characters.

It is the time for family reunions, commemoration of ancestors, harmony and exchange of best wishes, special food, new clothes, new beginnings and other festive activities. The few days at the start of the year are the most important days. All activities are undertaken with great care to ensure that people will have happiness, good fortune and longevity throughout the year.

Tết is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. During Tết, Vietnamese visit their relatives and temples, forgetting about the troubles of the past year and hoping for a better upcoming year.

Read more about Têt

She doesn’t give you time for questions
As she locks up your arm in hers
And you follow ’till your sense of which direction
Completely disappears
By the blue tiled walls near the market stalls
There’s a hidden door she leads you to
These days, she says, I feel my life
Just like a river running through
The year of the cat

~ lyrics, Al Stewart


River Cat: artist Cynthia Dill

Image Credit: Cat-n-Around Catskill 


One comment

  1. Hahaha, I immediately thought of the Al Stewart song too!

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