How Vietnamese celebrate Tet

Watermelon, Chung cake, Tet cake, lucky money.. Yes, you guess it right, I’m referring to the biggest celebration in Vietnam, Tet Nguyen Dan. Tet, as of how the Vietnamese usually call it, is the New Year, very similar to Chinese New Year in several ways the event has its own unique charms.

Tet’s atmosphere starts prior than the main dates itself. 1 month prior to Tet, people are already rushing with the preparation: making traditional dried candied fruits, cleaning and decorating the house, making the special cakes for Tet, shopping for new clothes, just like how the Western would prepare for Christmas.

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The closer to the Tet’s Eve, it gets busier everywhere. Big cities starts to empty as everyone heads to their hometown to gather with family, every businesses rush to finish prior to the events. There is a saying: “As empty as the New Year’s Eve”, which indicated the fact that nobody outside doing any business, as this is the time to head for home, for the family. Nowadays, you will still find that most of the stores, markets closed several days before Tet or latest on the last day of the year.

New Year’s Eve for many families is the gathering time, where people will have a small meal to worship the ancestors and thankful for the protection and all the good things happened last year. In the past, when fire crackers were still allowed, then you would hear a lot of crackling and amusement. Nowadays, people anticipant eagerly for the fireworks to begin.

So, what is it like during Tet?

People dress nicely to visit the temple and the graveyard of your late loved ones. Followed by visitation of the relatives, where the children and the elders will get the lucky money, as a wish for health and luck all year around. At each house, people invite you for a drink, can be either tea or alcohol and some sweets, wishing each other for a smooth new year.

The Tet has 3 official days, traditionally, the first day is to visit the Father’s family, second day for the Mother’s family, third day for the teachers, neighbors, and friends. However, nowadays, family size tends to be smaller, people would just combine everything in a single day for the convenience.

The most common entertainment during Tet is “gambling”, kids have their own set of games, which they can use a part of the lucky money to play. Adults also gather around to gamble, on a small scale and fun way to relax rather than serious gambling.

Some of the items are always present during Tet are:

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The Chung and Tet cake
Both are the traditional glutinous rice cake for Tet, that have the square and round shape respectively, symbolised the ground on our feet and the sky above our head. The cake is a combination of the meat, green bean, sticky rice, wrapped in the banana leaf and cooked over 48 hours and served with a typical fish sauce. The cooking part is the most interesting part as everyone get to gather around the charcoal stove, take turns to be in charge and exchange the stories. Simple connection in the old style.

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Watermelon
The fruit, with the red coloured juicy flesh covered with a smooth hard green skin, is believed to represent luck combined with hard work for a fruitful year.

Once a upon a time, the king gotten angry because the prince stated the fact that with hands and brain, everything and anything is possible. The king wanted to challenge his son, he forced him and his family to live on an island, without any food or water.

One day, the birds brought some strange seeds to the island, he planted it and watermelons began to grow successfully. Since then, he has been trading the fruit for food, clothes, and water. The business went so well that he has built his own kingdom from the island, and proven his word to his father.

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Five-fruit tray
A tray of different type of dried candied fruits to invite your guests while having the chatting. the tray normally contains the 5 different types of fruits depend on where you from in Vietnam, for eg, the south five-fruit tray will contain: custard apple, cluster fig coconut, papaya, and mango which each fruit pronounced in Vietnamese are “Cầu sung dừa đủ xài”. The whole sentence means: wishing a well-being year with enough prosperity.

The core value of the New Year has always remains in the hearts of the Vietnamese: time for the reunion, for connection and good wishes. If you wish to join in with the Vietnamese and bask in good wishes and joy, come and have a chat with us anytime at askus@ladyredot.com.


 

juneJune explores different roles to find out what is her passion. She used to be a travel consultant, a Kindergarden English teacher, an Expedia’s Lodging Partner Support agent, and the latest is being a freelancer. Eventually, she figures that her passion is to express the hospitality spirit from her heart and inspire others from her works. Being a writer for LadyRedot, where she get inspired and inspire others, and running her own bed and breakfast in her homeland. She views life as a colorful and adventurous journey, join her as she shares her passion with you! You can reach out to her @ LinkedIn.

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Chinese New Year in China

We are approaching what is called the biggest festival among the Chinese in the world. Of course, the biggest country that will be celebrating Chinese New Year is China. Do you know that a lot of offices and factories closes for at least 7 days for this big event for the Chinese workers who hasn’t seen their family for a year to travel home for Chinese New Year. It is deem unfilial not to go home with gifts during this period hence every year, China has this human migration all over the country, flocking to go home.

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History
There are a number of versions of the history of the Chinese New Year, but the most famous revolve around the mythical beast Nian. Legend says Nian is fond of threatening and eating humans, especially young children. The people, except for one old man, decided to flee and hide from the terrifying creature. The brave man decided to stay and ward off the horrifying best by using red pieces of paper and firecrackers. The people left the old man anyway. Upon their return on the next day, they were astounded to see the town was just as they left it: nothing was destroyed. The townspeople began to conclude that the old man was actually a deity who saved them and that loud noises and the colour red fend off Nian. From that day on, the people made sure to wear red clothing and decorate with red lanterns and red spring scrolls every time the New Year comes. Nian never showed his face to the people again.

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Significance
Also known as the Spring Festival, it starts on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. In 2017, it falls on January 28. It is a key public holiday for the Chinese people, and it usually lasts for about 23 days. Most shops, restaurants and business are closed for several days, but supermarkets and public transportation are available (although most of the time overcrowded). Chinese New Year is celebrated not only in Mainland China but also in Singapore, Taiwan, Macau, Hongkong, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Aside from honouring the Chinese deities, the festival is time to celebrate their hard work all year long and to wish their families and friends a prosperous New Year, just like the non-Chinese New Year.

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Celebration
Aside from decorating their homes with red lanterns and red posters, wearing red clothing (the color red was a sort of an amulet, but now symbolizes happiness and fortune), Chinese people make sure to thoroughly clean their homes days before the New Year’s day to rid of bad luck and to welcome good luck. Families with members from different generations gather around tables to enjoy the “reunion dinner” or the New Year’s Eve dinner. They also gift gifts, usually money inside a red envelope mostly to children and seniors. Adults do not usually receive money unless it is from an employer.

Customarily, fish and dumplings (usually in Northern China) are served for the New Year’s Eve dinner. Foods like New Year Cake, Tang Yuan, Congee, and a lot of others are served depending on personal preference.

Aside from the celebration in their homes, cultural activities are also organised. These include imperial performances, ancestor worship and the famous dragon dance. They also pray in temples for bountiful fortune and luck. Firecrackers are set off; the louder they are, the better.

It is also believed that asking for money on New Year’s and cleaning the house within the first three days are huge taboos in a traditional Chinese setting. Doing so will not attract good luck.

If you are looking to travel to China during Chinese New Year or you would like to experience first hand on Chinese New Year culture in China, we can arrange for you! Just askus@ladyredot.com and we will ensure that you will savour the full experience of local festival celebration.


mish

Mish worked as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since she graduated, she decided to give up her corporate job. She now focuses on her 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. She is a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, she’s tiny but she is an Olympic-level glutton. Let her bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach her at LinkedIn.

The Colourful Sinulog Festival In Cebu

Colourful costumes and headdresses, amazing dancers, drumbeats, grand fireworks display, giant puppets… No, I’m not talking about The Carnival in Rio De Janeiro. I am talking about the Sinulog festival in Cebu. Although a lot similar to the famous festival in Brazil, Sinulog is actually a very unique event on its own. If you don’t know this festival yet, now is the best time to.

A brief background
Sinulog is actually from the Cebuano term “sulog” which refers to the movement of the water. The term describes the forward-backward movement of the dancers. The event is both religious and cultural and was originally organised to honour the Holy Child Jesus through a dance ritual.

The majority of the Filipinos are devout Catholics, however, you do not have to be one to partake in the celebration. In fact, millions of people—not just believers— flock to the island of Cebu to witness and join the citywide party.

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The Grandest Party of the Year
Every third Sunday of January (15 January 2017), the city of Cebu bursts with millions of people from all over the world.

The first major event, however, happens on Saturday, as millions of devotees join a solemn procession from and to the 451-year old Basilica Menore del Santo Niño.

On Sunday, the city wakes up to early mass and alluring drumbeats. More than 30 contingents from different provinces in the Philippines don their colourful costumes and dance to the Sinulog beat on the streets. Colourful floats and giant puppets also join the 6.1-kilometer street dance right at the heart of the city.

To watch the grand parade, tourists can hit the bricks and follow the street dance route. However, if they want to witness the rituals, they can purchase tickets to the grandstand. Most spectators prefer to be on the streets, as it’s more festive and they can even join the street dancers.

Aside from the street dance, local products and delicacies will also be on display. You can dine in booths along the streets and even party with people right on the streets! To cap the street dancing, people can watch the spectacular fireworks.

The celebration continues after that, as at night, partygoers in celebratory spirits overflow and continue the fun on the streets. Although the event is a religious and cultural one, booze and street parties have been allowed (plans to prohibit drinking and smoking are being discussed by the local government, though).

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Preparing for the event
If you plan to be part of the event, book your airline tickets and hotel rooms months ahead. The rates for both will not only dramatically increase as the dates get closer to the event, but it is very possible for hotels and airlines to run out of rooms and seats quickly.

The Philippines is a tropical country. Although the month of January belongs to its “rainy season”, it’s actually still warm and sunny most of the time. Pack light clothing, comfortable shoes, sunblock and hats and leave your designer clothing and jewellery at home. It’s a very simple and laid-back place, so you do not need to deck up in your finest.

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Do not forget to bring your camera and safety bag. You’ll be roaming around the city the whole day and you do not want to miss the colourful sights. Stuff your bag with your own water bottles, extra shirts and sanitizers as it can get really crowded it’s impossible for you to go back to your hotel.

Lastly, do not forget to have fun. Let lose and shout Pit Senyor!

Come and join Mish and our writers in the whirlwind of adventures as we bring you closer to the local’s heartlands. We cater to help likeminded adventurers to plan their local experience for a lifetime memories.


mish
Mish worked as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since she graduated, she decided to give up her corporate job. She now focuses on her 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. She is a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, she’s tiny but she is an Olympic-level glutton. Let her bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach her at LinkedIn.

Places to see (Sakura) cherry blossom in 2017

 

If you have not seen Cherry Blossom at least once in your life, you are actually missing out on its beauty. I’m going to show you that Japan isn’t the only choice though that is obviously the most popular choice among all.

Japan
The cherry blossom season in Japan starting from late March to early May, depend on the locations. Some of the best spots to watch the show are:

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Takayama city, Gifu
A beautiful spring festival framed in white and pink colour, an enchanting sight that allows your eyes to feast on its beauty.

Kinosaki Onsen town, Hyogo
A romantic movie-like scene when Spring season arrives, where the pink glows along the street, it is an irresistible beauty.

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Fukuoka Castle Ruins at Maizuru Park, Fukuoka
The vintage classic atmosphere of the ruined castle blends perfectly with the fascinating blooming of more than 1000 cherry trees.

Japan Mint, Osaka
Passed down centuries of tradition since the end of the 19th, every year this place held the seasonal festival for the public to enjoy the gorgeous, iconic flowers blossom.

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Mt. Yoshino, Nara
The best among the best. Just vision the whole mountain covered in pink and white, the most romantic picture-perfect setting I believed.

Hirosaki Castle Park, Hirosaki city, Aomori
Another favourite spot where cherry blossom addicts flock to while in Japan.

Korea
Lesser known than Japan doesn’t mean Korea has less to offer in this springtime. Check out the hot spots for your magnificent cherry blossom backdrops:

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Busan
There are many sites in this touristic town, where your craving for cherry blossom is satisfied: Haeundae Dalmaji Road, colour Stream Park, Igidae Coastal Promenade, Mt. Hwangnyeong Ring Road are among the best to enjoy the springtime performance.

Seoul
Book your ticket to come here in early April and participate in festivals like Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival, Yeouido Spring Flower Festival. The splendid sightings of the pink and white fallen petal carpet ensure plenty picture perfect moments.

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Jeju Island
The idyllic island is famous for their legendary cherry trees, which only blossom for 2 – 3 days each year. A well worthy rare sight that should not be missed.

Europe
After a long cold, snowy winter, Spring time is widely welcomed around Europe. In some countries, this comes with the glorious blooming of cherry trees. Let check them out together:

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Yes, not only tulip fields but also Sakura, get yourself to the English park and being rewarded with the romantic walkway here.

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Stockholm, Sweden
The classic fairy tale sightings blend with the silky pink color from million cherry petals entirely a princess dream comes true.

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London, UK
Despite numerous flowers unfold their beauty during spring time, it is undeniable, cherry tree holding the crown.

Other Countries
Vancouver, Canada
The spring celebrations here has always included the beauty of cherry blossom. If you already used to the incredible yellow Falls, try to visit Vancouver during Spring for a change, which is equally impressive.

Washington DC, US
Cheering your US spring with cherry blossoming isn’t a bad idea at all, especially when it has such irresistible natural beauty.

Dalat, Vietnam
If you happen to be in South East Asia yet still love to have a glimpse of Sakura blooming, you are at the right place. Starting from Feb, the little city change to its pink dress to celebrate Tet, the Vietnam New Year.

Chiang Mai, Northen Thailand
Another budget-friendly spot to enjoy the shower of cherry flower or Tiger Queen as how the local like to refer to. Unlike the professional festivals in Japan or Korean, or the entirely different fairy tale look in Europe, cherry blossom here mixes with the rural breath, giving another unique experience.

As one of the most famous iconic flowers signalise Springtime, Cherry Blossom is not only a show of nature beauty but also a remind of how fragile and quick beautiful moments flash. Enjoy the short yet elegant beauty as much as you treasure the little joys in life.

Do not miss out the little treasures in your life, let us help you to take small steps to create memories. Just askus@LadyRedot.com.


june June explores different roles to find out what is her passion. She used to be a travel consultant, a Kindergarden English teacher, an Expedia’s Lodging Partner Support agent, and the latest is being a freelancer. Eventually, she figures that her passion is to express the hospitality spirit from her heart and inspire others from her works. Being a writer for LadyRedot, where she get inspired and inspire others, and running her own bed and breakfast in her homeland. She views life as a colorful and adventurous journey, join her as she shares her passion with you! You can reach out to her @ LinkedIn.

Celebrate 2017 in Singapore!

Singapore, a modern city island, is now a popular site for travellers during New Years. With its artsy restaurants, famous clubs and sandy beaches it should be a goal for all on their traveller’s bucket list.

Here are some of the best of Singapore during this festive.

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Wishing Spheres
This Annual tradition is one of Singapore’s New Year Eve’s highlights. Recently reaching national recognition, people from all around the world come to write their wishes and aspiring goals to float in the marina bay. In recent years, numbers as high as 25,000 light up spheres have been used. Once written on, the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown crew anchor the spheres in detailed shapes. This task is no small one, with the total preparation taking up to 10,000 hours.

It’s a privilege to serve the community this way- to be a part of the team that brings so many people together to celebrate and usher in the New Year.

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1919 Water Boathouse
For those looking to get a front row seat of the spectacular wishing spheres and NYE fireworks, the 1919 Water Boathouse is the place. A relaxed restaurant with savoury seafood and hand-selected wines, the building is held in a historic colonial heritage site, known in the past as one of Singapore’s busiest ports. Along with the great food is a rooftop panoramic view of the light show light show.

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Sentosa
A smaller island located south of the city. This little chunk of land holds a big reputation. Each year over 12 million tourist visit and has it own Universal Studios. It also has a 2km beach, 14 hotels and 2 golf courses. During New Years, Sentosa comes alive with music, competitions, and lavish food. Head over to the beach for a 12-hour neon themed party. Or for a louder party come earlier in December for club Zouk’s crazed beach party. One of the biggest in Asia with tens of thousands of people.

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Zouk
Zouk is the French world for party and if anything that is what these people know. Originally established in 1991 it is decorated with awards. Such as Singapore’s Tourism Board’s Best Nightspot Experience which it has won 6 times. It is also ranked 6th best on DJ Mag top100 clubs in a global 2016 poll. Zouk has 3 different themed rooms: its club, with a large dance floor and state of the art sounds and lights; the Velvet Underground, a more relaxed lounge with house and soul music; and lastly, Phuture, an abstract futuristic bar with hip-hop and R&B. It is one of the oldest and most popular clubs and to some Singaporeans, it is seen as a right of passage for the younger crowd.

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Singapore Flyer
Escape the New Year’s Eve craze and head to the Singapore Flyer. This 165 meter Ferris wheel is the largest in Asia. It was the largest in the world until the High Roller in Las Vegas was made with a height of 167.7 meters. The observatory is located in the heart of downtown Marina Bay which allows for a grand viewing of the countdown fireworks and if you’re lucky of a glimpse of Malaysia and Indonesia on the horizon. The Flyer also serves food and champagne.


This photo of CE LA VI Club Lounge is courtesy of TripAdvisor

CÉ LA VI
Another French named club, CÉ LA VI translates to “This Is life”. This dancing heaven demands a more luxurious crowd. It is located 57 levels above the ground at 200 meters. With this view, attendees are at eye level to the stunning display of New Year’s fireworks. Along with the view, CÉ LA VI is known for its award-winning modern Asian Cuisine with culinary artist awaiting your every wish. Under their website, they brag of their “Globe-spanning culinary adventures in a spectacular setting. Cocktails that concoct magical spells – transforming surprising ingredients into unexpected treasures”.

Let us, the locals show you how to have an awesome time in Singapore to open your 2017 with a bang! Talk to us now at askus@ladyredot.com.


josh-may Hello! I’m Josh and I’m a journalism and business student from the U.S. I grew up near Boston but now I’m living in Thailand. In the past I’ve been a ski instructor, waiter, and camp counselor. Now I’ve taken up the pen and want to develop my skills as a writer. I got hooked on traveling last December. I found the microscopic image of my town and realized how much of the earth I hadn’t seen. Since then I’ve had a fire in my belly to see and do as much as I can. My experience here in Thailand has been so great and now I’m eager to share and inspire others to get out, it’s worth it! You can keep in contact with me at LinkedInUpwork or Facebook.

How To Celebrate New Year 2017 In Style In London

London is famous for several attractions. Aside from being historically rich, it also offers a lot of fun and remarkable activities, especially on New Year’s. If you haven’t experienced London’s amazing New Year’s celebration yet, we have listed some posh ideas for you to jumpstart 2017:

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Watch the NYE Fireworks Display
Celebrated along the area of the River Thames, people from different parts of the world gather to witness the mesmerising display of pyrotechnics. You can try to watch the show from somewhere else, but you get the best view if you buy tickets and gain access to the Southbank area. Only limited seats are offered so make sure to get your tickets in advance to avoid the hassle.

Enjoy the New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise
If you are unable to secure a ticket to the fireworks display, don’t fret. You can have a dazzling night with lavish food, drinks, music and a view of the fireworks display while on a cruise on River Thames.

Indulge yourself in world-class meals
London has more than 60 Michelin-starred restaurants. Book a table at one of these restaurants and enjoy award-winning food prepared by celebrity chefs.

Dance your way to 2017
Celebrate in style by dancing with jitterbugs like you! The entire city will be buzzing with life and several clubs will open its doors to anybody who enjoys music and dancing. Look up clubs like Electric Brixton, Heaven, Studio 338, Cargo, and a whole lot more!

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Champagne Bars
You can simply relax in style and enjoy a glass of bubbly at one of London’s many champagne bars. Whether you want a quiet ambience or an alfresco mood, the city has so many bars to choose from!

See the lights under the ice
If you’re travelling with teens and/or kids, then partying at clubs may not be suitable. Luckily, the city of London has just about everything to offer so you can still welcome 2017 in style! You can spend your afternoon at Canary Wharf Ice Rink and marvel at the vibrant colours beneath the ice while you skate! If you want to go on a trip down the memory lane, try skating at Somerset House, Hampton Court or at the National Museum Ice Rink and enjoy skating with marvellous historical structures as your backdrop.

New Year’s Day Parade
Take your whole family to the streets of Central London and witness as 8,000 performers–dancers, marching bands, acrobats—congregate for a spectacular celebration. Your whole family will surely love the huge balloons, confetti, and festive music!

After-dark bus tour
On the first night of January 2017, enjoy a tour aboard on an open-top bus and be amazed at the panoramic view of London adorned with colourful Christmas lights. Sit back and relax for an hour and forty-five minutes and get to know London’s famous spots in a truly magical way.

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View from the top
Another unique way to get a glimpse of London is to head for heights. Whether you’re in for a romantic night at a restaurant perched on a hill or for a fun night with friends on a rooftop bar, the city’s got you covered!

January Sale
Unleash the inner shopaholic in you and take advantage of the super low prices from different department stores in London. Get great deals on apparels and gadgets for the whole family!

Whatever you choose to do, be sure to do your homework and do a little research first. Book tickets in advance to avoid trouble or contact us to help you arrange your tickets in advance. Have a chat with us at askus@ladyredot.com.


mish
Mish worked as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since she graduated, she decided to give up her corporate job. She now focuses on her 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. She is a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, she’s tiny but she is an Olympic-level glutton. Let her bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach her at LinkedIn.