'Tet' (Vietnamese New Year) is the time of year in Vietnam when each person does what they can personally and at home to refresh, renew, repair, forgive and to stat anew. Even the poorest will buy a gold or yellow colored plant (also red and purple colored plants are considered auspicious) to bring prosperity to them and their family. These are placed outside the house and some hang their plants.
They also will buy something new to wear at Tet; maybe if they are poor it will only be a new hair tie or clip, or a new shirt. And their home and garden may only get a thorough spring clean and some broken hinges repaired. Those with more money will repaint the whole house, both inside and outside, buy new furniture, pay off any debts and buy some gold jewelry and clothing.
At CEF the staff take a long Tet holiday to prepare their homes, do the required cleaning, repairing and shopping and spend time with their families and friends. They love this long holiday as it is a chance to see some of the family they can only see once a year and to see some dear friends who may have married and moved away to another city, but come back to visit family and good friends.
For the poor it is a stressful time of year as they can only afford Tet if they borrow further funds. Before the staff take their long Tet holiday CEF buys rice and various staples and treats for our families to try and relieve a little of the burden and to help them celebrate. This brings us joy to prepare these parcels for them and to give them knowing we have been able to help bring some joy to them.