Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Red scrolls for Tết

Traditionally, every year when spring comes, Việt’s families buy and decorate their houses with red -scrolls to see the New year in. No matter how rich or poor you are, when Tết comes, everybody cleans the house, prepares good food: square cakes, salted onion, pork and red-scrolls… These are very necessary for Tết.
Photo: Tiến Dũng
Scrolls may be hung high on altars or stuck on house-pillars, evn in the kitchens. Scrolls are normally written on red paper with Chhinese ink (black) or yellow ink in Chinese or Vietnamese languages.

Every year when comes New-year, old learned men (dressed in long black robe with a head-dress are seen writing scrolls on pavements, in markets…

Formerly, red-scrolls were highly valued and respected, it’s not only a nice painting with good hand-writing, it’s human hearts and souls hidden in the characters. The red-scrolls contents normally highlight the good virtues, gratitute to the forefathers or prayers for good and lucky New-year.

But it’s not easy to create correct and meaningful scrolls. It’s highly appreciated and preserved by men of literature and it’s considered to be a noble-minded interest when they meet, enjoy good tea and exchange opinions on New-year days.

Recently, calligraphy is more popularized. Vietnamese prefer to decorate their house with calligraphical writings or to send to friends as souvenirs. Immortal sayings or scrolls or poems are expressed by calligraphers. It’s hoped to be well-respected and preserved as a culture of the nation on Tết holidays: calligraphy.

                                                               THANH HIỀN
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