It started out as a sexist tradition i.e. women eat in the I Dont Always Watch Anime Sometimes I Eat Ramen As Well T Shirt . However, in the modern day, part of the reason the habit persists is because Vietnamese men tend to smoke cigarettes right at the table and get themselves extremely drunk. And when they get drunk, they tend to be really loud and argue about nonsensical stuffs. Sometimes, such argument can easily devolve into an actual argument or a real fight, with lowered inhibition to boots. The women’s table has no cigarette smoke and close to zero drinking culture. It just has a bad jealousy culture of blowing up the women’s family’s achievements and pushing down other people’s achievements while everyone is pretending to be friends. But that’s still better than the men’s table. The children’s table is the least complicated, with zero alcohol, zero terrible gossip, and zero smoke. I usually hijack that table during extended family meetings.
Some parts of Asia – certainly not “Asia” in general! – have traditionally celebrated the New Year based on a lunar (well, a lunar+solar adjusted) calendar. That’s when family gets together; that’s when feasting takes place; that’s when a “new beginning” is promised. And good for them. I lived in Hong Kong for 18 years and that was part of local tradition. Elsewhere in the world – including most of Asia, in fact – these celebrations are associated with other periods. The 1st of January, for example, though there’s no inherent reason why that is more significant than, say, the 23d of April or the Twelfth of Never. We (well, our predecessors and ancestors) just decided that was a good time to have that family gathering / feasting / “new beginning” and it stuck. No reason you have to celebrate either. No reason you can’t celebrate both. And throw in those cultures (e.g., Islamic) which use a strict lunar calendar, so that their “New Year” wanders all over the map, if looked at in terms of our calendar!
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