This is an IELTS listening exercise which I have made for my Vietnamese students about their wonderful New Year’s celebration called Tết. It is a sentence completion practice so you will need to fill in the gaps as you listen. Remember to read the questions before listening to the audio. Answers do come in order.
Tết Holiday (Vietnamese New Year)
Complete the sentences using no more than three words.
- Another name for Tết is ……………….
- One typical dish at this time is a soup which is made from ………………..
- Lucky money is given to ………….. and …………………
- Before Tết, people buy ……….. trees and ………. blossom to adorn their house.
- ………… the house is forbidden during Tết.
Tết is celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year, though exceptions arise due to the one-hour time difference between Hanoi and Beijing. It takes place from the first day of the first month of the Vietnamese calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day. Vietnamese people consider Tết to be the first day of spring and the festival is often called spring festival.
Many Vietnamese prepare for Tết by cooking special holiday foods and cleaning the house. These foods include square rice cake, Vietnamese sausage, dried young bamboo soup, sticky rice and boiled chicken. There are a lot of customs practiced during Tết, such as visiting a person’s house on the first day of the new year, ancestral worship, wishing New Year’s greetings and giving lucky money to children and elderly people.
There are certain things to observe during Tết and certain things to avoid. Houses are thoroughly cleaned in preparation for Tết. People buy kumquat trees and peach blossom to decorate their houses. There are dragon or lion dances in the streets. New clothes should be bought for every member of the family. And on New Year’s Eve, the kitchen god, Ong Tao, is welcomed back to the kitchen. On the other hand, somethings must be avoided. Sweeping during Tết is taboo and considered to be unlucky, since it symbolizes sweeping away the luck; that is why they clean before the new year. It is also taboo for anyone who experienced a recent loss of a family member to visit anyone else during Tết.
Note: I made a mistake in the audio in the second sentence. I said Chinese instead of Vietnamese. Sorry to all my Vietnamese students for that. Liz
- spring festival
- bamboo / young bamboo / dried young bamboo
- children elderly people (you need all three words correct for one point)
- kumquat peach (both answers needed for one point)
- sweeping (no capital letter is needed, see IELTS Exam FAQ page)
- arises = happens
- it is often called = it is frequently named
- ancestral worship = praying to ancestors (past family members)
- to observe = to follow (this is when relating to celebrations or festivals)
- sweeping = using a brush to clean the floor
- luck (noun) / lucky (adjective)
- taboo = forbidden
square cake (bánh chưng) = A cake which is made from sticky rice, mung bean and pork wrapped in leaves.
kumquat = A small citrus fruit similar to an orange. Both peel and flesh is eaten.
peach blossom = flowers on a peach tree
Happy New Year to all students in China and Vietnam as well as any others who are currently celebrating Lunar New Year. Wishing you all the best in the year to come. Liz
If you would like me to make a lesson about a festival or part of your culture, please let me know the details by posting a comment in the box below. Regards, Liz.