Te’t Nguyen Dan

By Linda Elissalde
Te’t Nguyen Dan (minus some punctuation marks) is Sino-Vietnamese for “Feast of the First Morning of the First Day.” It is a most important celebration in Vietnamese culture and landed on January 25 this year. According to the Vietnamese Lunar Calendar, this is the first day of the year and heralds the arrival of spring.

Each year celebrates one of 12 animals in the zodiac. AND this year, it is the RAT! Rats include people born in 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020. The Sino-Vietnamese take a more gentle view of the rat than does the English language. Some studies show that rats are intelligent, empathetic and even affectionate. The zodiac notes that people born in a year of the rat are clever, sociable, and ambitious.

Famous folk born in rat years include George Washington, Winston Churchill, Charlotte Bronte, Marlon Brando, Jimmy Carter, William Shakespeare, John F. Kennedy and even Mozart! So if you are a rat, you should be quite happy because you are in good company.

Kevin Le, owner of I LOVE NAILS, and his lovely wife Mai honor me by inviting me to be their first customer of the Lunar New Year. It is believed that the first business customer predicts luck. I hope that I continue to bring them good luck. This talented family has worked hard to create a consistently successful business. They have earned their good fortune, and are outstanding examples of The American Dream.

So, here is wishing Chuc May Man (minus some punctuation marks) to all on TE’T NGUYEN DAN (minus some punctuation marks), the year of the RAT!


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