The Lunar New Year has become a beautiful cultural tradition of the Vietnamese people from many generations. Tet is returning home, Tet is the reunion. Tet today in the busy life is not as intact as the Tet in the past. Today’s Tet in the middle of life is not as intact as the old ones. But there are always things that are maintained for many years, passed down from one generation to another without ever losing. It is the family, the green chung cake, the fruit tray. The color of the fruit tray to worship ancestors as offerings in New Year has the traditional meaning that will arouse curiosity tourists of Vietnam food tours.
The tray of fruit is a characteristic of the Vietnamese New Year. It is a beautiful tradition, a tradition of rich meaning from generation to generation. A full Tet with the hope of happy derived from the fruit tray. The seemingly simple things play a huge role in the soul of the Vietnamese from the elders to the youngers.
In the New Year, each time when people prepare tray five fruits placed on the altar with their relatives, they feel happy. At such times, even though there are so many things to prepare, people still try to care little by little for the five-fruit tray. It is not only beautiful but also brings spiritual ideas about the desire for a lucky new year. In each of the region in North or South, the concept of “five-fruit tray” can be different. But it is the heart of the people offered to their ancestors, grandparents respectfully and the wish for the new spring.
Fruit tray in North
For the people in the North, five fruits include five kinds of fruit with five different colors representing the concept of five elements as well as five wishes. The blessings that are reminded are longevity, health, wealth, honor and peace. The five administrative elements are Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth.
Combining these meanings, northerners often choose fruits with colors representing the five elements. The fruits can be changed, but usually, the names are very familiar such as apple, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, persimmon, plum, pear, peach, mango and so on, which you will see on Hanoi local food tours. These fruits are presented on a tray, carefully arranged, meticulously and harmoniously.
Fruit tray in South
Unlike in the North, the fruit tray in the South has a unique feature. The familiar fruits that people often mention are that: custard apple, coconut, papaya, mango, figs … The presence of these fruits makes the sentences very interesting. The names of these fruits make the sentences with lucky meaning. These are: “wish just enough to use” or “wish just enough for prosperity” It is the deviation of pronunciation from the name of the fruit which is very cute of the South people. It gives people a sense of simplicity.
The tray of five fruits expresses the simple dream of every people. The dream of a simple and sufficient life. Many people ask: “How much is sufficient?”, the full definition “sufficient” is uncountable. In fact, the dream of the South people is as simple as their soul. Life does not need to be too rich, just peaceful in the year, it is enough.
Meaning of kinds of fruits
Why people choose these fruits for the five-fruit tray on Tet Holidays? You will have the perfect answer when you learn to prepare fruits tray in Hanoi cooking class.
People choose light sweet pear to pray for their life going well. Pomegranate with a lot of seeds represents the children and fertility. The peach shows the promotion. The finger citron is with the wish that Buddha will always protect for humans. Apples mean wealth. The tangerine and persimmon symbolize success. Dragon fruit shows the development of fortune. People choose grapefruit and watermelon with the expectation of sweet things and good luck. Green banana looks like as the hand: collecting luck, covering and protecting.
Figs show your wellbeing both in health and in money. Papaya will bring full prosperity because it is pronounced like the word “sufficiency”. The mango is pronounced a bit like “spend”, also pray for the sufficiency.