This just in from my pal David and his wife Virginia in Vietnam:
Dear Donna, Tet is the biggest celebration in South East Asia and China, I think. People are on vacation for days if not a month. Even the hospital clears out if you are not too sick. So many people go home for Tet that you can't get a ticket if you're going in the preferred direction.
Last night at about midnight I heard what sounded like drums. It turned out to be fireworks by the river. After that stopped the motorbikes started. Many many people were out riding around for hours. Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. It started trailing off at about 2:30AM. Though the bikes tend to be small by US standards it is impressive when it happens.
A few weeks ago Vietnam played Thailand in soccer. Vietnam won over Thailand for the first time in years. From our house you could hear the cheers as people watched the game. Vietnam made a narrow win, but a win. A little later I started hearing the motorbikes go by. Most of the bikes here are 110 or 125cc motors but the shear numbers make an awesome sight and sound. There were many guys in large groups, one driving, the other rider holding a Vietnamese flag, red with a yellow star and about 4 feet high. It looked like they were trailing fire. The red on the flag is shiny like silk and really catches the light. Very impressive. Anyway there were many people out riding last night and that was impressive too. With the solar New Year there is some celebration but not like the Lunar New Year. Happy New Year Donna.