Tam Cúc
Design, Folkway

Redesigning the tam cúc card deck was a labor of love. I was home for the weekend and running errands with my mother. Our conversations during those car rides often turned to “remember when…” Perhaps we were talking about Tết traditions or games we used to play, when my mother said, “The tam cúc cards…

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Tết Nguyên Đán
Folkway

Tết Nguyên Đán (“festival of the first dawn”) celebrates the beginning of the year based on a lunisolar calendar. It is so central to Viet culture that people refer to it simply as Tết.

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Cây Nêu
Folkway

Cây nêu is made of a long bamboo stem with one leafy branch at its tip. Attached to the branch is a ring big enough to hold a number of charms against evil spirits – pandan leaves, cacti, chimes…

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Ngũ Quả
Folkway, Food

The five fruits in Ngũ Quả represent blessings to wish for during Tết and other special occasions: Wealth (phú); stature (quý); longevity (thọ); health (khang); peace (ninh).

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Fried Bánh Chưng
Food

Ingredients Left-over bánh chưng or bánh tét; light cooking oil. Equipment A nonstick pan; a cast iron grill press or a brick wrapped in heavy aluminum foil. Notes This recipe works better with bánh tét, as the log shape can be readily cut into slices of the desired thickness, each with the right ratio of…

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