Lunar New Year is the most important holiday in Vietnam, just like Christmas-New Year in the west. It's the time for remembrance of one's ancestors, for celebration, for contemplation. This year the LNY falls on February 14th.
Every Vietnamese household has been preparing for this festive occasion for the last several days. Ours has been the same. I have cleaned out our home (to some extent only..) and prepared some traditional food for us.
Together with the traditional food, there're "traditional" flowers for LNY too. For the folks in the South, the "Mai" plant is a must as it blooms once a year during this season. For the folks in the North, the Peach tree serves the same purpose.
Our "Mai" tree "mis-calculated" the season because 2009 was a leap year with two "Mays" so it bloomed almost a month ago. Now we don't have one for our home. I have made it up with an azeala and some other houseplants.
On New Year Eve, we went out for the count-down fireworks. We had some drinks and food, and at 00:00 sharp, the fireworks started. We were watching from a hotel terrace and the view was spectacular - in our standards, of course. Everyone around us was happy to be there at the moment the new year arrived.
We got back home around 2am, tired and sleepy, but very happy because we have had a wonderful time together.