As an expat living in Vietnam for over five years, Greg Ohan, an Australian senior director at a property consultancy in Ho Chi Minh City, regards the lunar New Year as his chance to take an extra holiday. In his first year in Vietnam, while other expats took a week off and travelled around Asia, Ohan made an effort to stay in the city during Tet and developed a true appreciation for what it was-a chance to spend more time with family, friends, and loved ones. Since then, he has encouraged friends and even family to visit him during Tet so they can experience what he believes to be the true soul and value of Vietnam-its people and how they celebrate their culture. “The annual pilgrimage that my friends and colleagues make to their hometowns is a testament to the strong underlying values of the Vietnamese people, and what I enjoy most about my life in Vietnam,” Ohan said. The picturesque transformation of Nguyen Hue road-and indeed all of Ho Chi Minh City-in the lead up to Tet are part of what Ohan appreciates about this festival. “Watching the flower street take shape, seeing the lighting and decorations installed in and around the main boulevards and roads of the city, and the excitement of the people is what strikes me,” he said. What Ohan admires about Tet is that it is not just a celebration of a new year, it is, in fact, a combination of cultural and spiritual traditions….