“Lunar New Year – known as Tet in Vietnam – was always a memorable holiday for me growing up. My family is Vietnamese, and we traditionally celebrate at my mom’s house. She spends a lot of time decorating the house with lucky colors like red and gold. My mom makes fantastic Vietnamese food, and it takes roughly three long tables in order to seat all of us.
“The best part of Tet is when the family starts distributing ‘lucky money’ to the younger kids. We all huddle in my mom’s living room and sit patiently as the older family members start passing out money in little red envelopes. The rule in our family is that the kids can only receive the lucky money after saying ‘Chuc Mung Nam Moi,’ which means ‘Happy New Year’ in Vietnamese. The older kids will also wish our family members a prosperous year, a healthy year, etc.”
Jennifer Dao is the supervisor of recruitment for Hormel Foods in Austin, Minnesota.