Simpson Strong-Tie’s Vietnam Branch was established in 2012 to provide No-Equal® engineering services not only in structural engineering, mechanical engineering and graphic design but also in software solutions. We work as a team, grow together inspired by our commitment to product quality and a customer-focused mindset, and bring collaborative spirit to achieving our organizational goals.
Viet Nam is a country with the shape of the letter S, a distinctive South Asian culture and unique traditional festivals. In this article, I would like to introduce one of our special customs in our biggest traditional festival called Lucky Money (‘lì xì’ in Vietnamese) in Tet or what may be described as the Lunar New Year.
As a result of being calculated by the lunar calendar, the Têt festival often occurs at the end of January or the beginning of February, which is later than New Year’s Day in Western calendars. Vietnamese Têt is celebrated to welcome the Lunar New Year and summarize what people did in the old one. It is considered an important mark for changes, plans and progress. Furthermore, Têt in Vietnam may be the only occasion for all family members to have happy moments together after a year of working hard. Têt customs include visiting family, friends and neighbors, ancestor worship, and giving lucky money to children and elderly people.
On the first working day of the new lunar year, as an annual tradition, the Viet Nam branch’s general manager will give lucky money to employees with wishes for their health, prosperity and success.
The origin of giving lucky money has its roots in an ancient tale: Once upon a time, there was an older couple gifted with a son. Around that time, there was a devil spirit that appeared on the eve of every lunar new year to harm children. This devil loved to touch children’s heads while they slept, and when they were touched, they got sick or became silly. One day, some gods happened to pass by the house of the old couple. To protect the child, the gods turned themselves into gold coins and told the mother to put the coins on a red piece of paper beside her child’s pillow. The devil did not harm him because it was scared by the twinkle and shine of the coins. This news quickly spread throughout the country, and since then the tradition of Lucky Money is a symbol for warding off evil spirits.
Nowadays, the Vietnamese give lucky money not only to children but also older adults. Gifting to children carries a wish for maturity, health and success in education. For adults, it symbolizes good health, happiness and success in life. The money is put inside red envelopes to signify prosperity and great luck. If you ever find yourself in Viet Nam during the Lunar New Year celebration, we are confident you will be gifted with some lucky money and wishes for a prosperous and healthy new year.