A Celebration for Everyone: Tet Festivities at Shri Lounge
With the holiday season behind us, it’s time to look forward to the “second” holiday of the year, which is in fact the most important and universally-celebrated holiday in Vietnam: Tet. At Shri Restaurant and Lounge, this is one of the most anticipated and celebrated times of the year. This Lunar New Year, in particular, will be a special one for Shri, as it marks 10 years of celebrating this quintessentially Vietnamese holiday.
For most Vietnamese, Tet is an annual family reunion. Saigon essentially shuts down, the streets strikingly quiet and empty as residents return to their hometowns for a week or more. This is a magical time in Vietnam’s southern urban hub, as there is no other time to enjoy the city without the hustle and bustle and the rush of chaotic traffic that is a defining aspect of life all other times of the year. Photographers flock to the city during Tet to capture glimpses of a serene and peaceful Saigon that can only be experienced during this special holiday.
Tet is the Lunar New Year, following the same calendar as many other countries, and is thought to have originated in China. Many Asian countries celebrate their own version of the lunar zodiac, including Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, and Korea. A few southeast Asian countries follow the Buddhist calendar, and replace the year of the dragon with a mythical giant water serpent known as the Naga. Vietnam Lunar New Year festivities follow the Chinese lunar calendar, but for reasons unknown to anthropologists and historians, Vietnam celebrates year of the cat instead of China’s year of the rabbit.
During Tet, elders in the family will give lì xì, or “lucky money,” to younger family members. As you can imagine, this is an especially good time to be the youngest in the family! No matter the age, everyone joins in the celebration with a feast of traditional Vietnamese Tet dishes, including bánh tết and bánh chưng (sticky stuffed rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves), gà luộc (boiled whole chicken), and kẹo trái cây (candied fruit). After the feast, Vietnamese families spend the remainder of their holiday playing đánh bài (card games), using their lucky money to gamble.
This new year is a special one, because it returns to the beginning of the zodiac cycle with Year of the Rat. The rat is thought to be clever, quick-witted, and thrifty, so anyone born in the coming year is expected to be successful and prosperous later in life. Whether you celebrate Tet or not, why not take the opportunity to enjoy a more peaceful and idealised version of Saigon, raise a glass to a year of prosperity and new opportunities, and celebrate this special time of year with friends and family?
Though many foreigners and expats take advantage of the holiday as an opportunity to travel, those who stay in Saigon or travel here during the holiday are rewarded with a uniquely special experience of the city, and there is perhaps no better place to enjoy this special holiday than the legendary Shri Restaurant and Lounge in Saigon’s central District 1. A Saigon mainstay since 2009, Shri has maintained its reputation over the years as one of Saigon’s most versatile and accessible spaces, while still offering some of the finest food and drink you can find anywhere in the city.
There are few options in Saigon during Tet, as most restaurants and clubs shut down for a least a few days. This year, Shri will be having their big celebration on January 24th, the first official day of Tet, with a special set menu that takes you on a culinary journey from north to south, starting at 1,500,000 VND (a la carte menu options will be available as well). They will close on the 25th so that staff can enjoy the holiday with their families, and then re-open with a Tet celebration, featuring lavish decorations, and a festive atmosphere with live music through February 1st. Don’t miss out on the fun at Shri during the most special time of the year in Vietnam!
There’s truly something for everyone here with Shri’s signature Western and Eastern a la carte menu options, as well as a handcrafted cocktail menu curated by some of Saigon’s finest bartenders, as well as an extensive array of coffee, tea, smoothies, and fresh juice. Shri invites guests from all walks of life, Vietnamese and international, to join in an inclusive, festive, and unforgettable Tet celebration. Kids get a special holiday-themed present as part of the festivities, making this the perfect event for families as well.
Shri Restaurant and Lounge is a space unlike any other in Saigon. Featuring some of the very best views of the city’s iconic skyline and originally serving as a gathering place for celebrities and Saigon’s elite class of politicians and officials, the well-appointed decor and variety of spaces make this place feel not just sophisticated and elegant, but warm and inviting at the same time. The library room is a fantastic small space within the restaurant with it’s own bar, ideal for booking a private room for a small party. Two outdoor patios with lush greenery and a very zen aesthetic, as well as a covered air-conditioned patio, let you take in the best views the city has to offer while enjoying the festivities. Beyond that, a private room situated by the outdoor patios features an unbelievable 360-degree view of the city.
Shri is not only versatile, but flexible for guests’ unique needs as well. Guests can request private spaces, customised menus and cocktails for their own special occasions, and even media equipment like turntables and a sound system if they really want to get the party going. Shri specialises in providing customised, tailored experiences to their guests in a way no other lounge or restaurant in this city can offer, in a variety of adjustable spaces, each with their own unique character and qualities.
Whether you’re staying in Saigon with your family for another year of treasured tradition, or a foreign visitor who has never experienced a traditional Vietnamese Tet before, there’s no better way to ring in the Lunar New Year than by celebrating this extra special 10th anniversary Tet celebration at Shri Restaurant and Lounge. Young and old guests from all over the world will find themselves right at home in Shri’s comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Enjoy some of the most unique spaces of any rooftop lounge in Saigon, with special Tet-themed food and drinks, inspired by local and international cuisine, from some of Saigon’s most talented chefs and master bartenders. For Tet, or any special occasion, Shri will surely exceed your expectations with an unexpected combination of luxury, quality, and a genuine, friendly welcome to the Shri family.
Image source: Shri Restaurant and Lounge