Xuan or spring is the time of the Tết festival. In Vietnam, this festival is about as important as Christmas in Europe. Like in former times, the dates of festivals and ceremonies in Vietnam are deduced from the moon calendar. The Tết festival marks the first day of the new moon year and at the same time the beginning of the spring season.
Even the preparations for the festival are a festival in itself. From all around the world, relatives travel to Vietnam in order to visit their families. New dresses are bought and special food is cooked. During the Tết festival, the streets drown in an ocean of lucky charms made of branches and blossoms.
The Tết festival itself is three days. This year, the Tết festival is on February, 14th. It introduces the year of the water buffalo, the animal symbolizing diligence and peace.
People wish each other health, peace and prosperity when they see each other during the Tết festivities. For 80 million Vietnamese, it is a good time, but for those other 5 million who are handicapped, it is a very hard time. They lack everything. Mind you, what they wish is not much; it would be easy enough to achieve: more solidarity, more love, more humanity …
In the name of the children, I wish you health and peace for the year of the water buffalo. And may God hold his protecting hand over you. My wish is that people should be more considerate about handicapped persons. I wish the children would get a clean meal for the Tet festival. Many thanks to you for helping to provide for the daily bread for the children.
Yours Francis Van Hoi
(modified by) MS
(Translated by EG)