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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Vietnamese lunar new year, 1885, short for Tet Nguyen Dan "feast of the first day." The North Vietnamese Tet Offensive in the U.S. Vietnam War began Jan. 30, 1968.


n. The ninth letter of many Semitic alphabets/abjads (Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic and others).


Tết ( or ), or Vietnamese New Year, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. The word is a shortened form of Tết Nguyên Đán, which is Sino-Vietnamese for "Feast of the First Morning of the First Day". Tết celebrates the arrival of spring based on the Chinese calendar, which usually has the date falling in January or February.

Tết is generally celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year, except when the one-hour time difference between Vietnam and China results in new moon occurring on different days. It takes place from the first day of the first month of the Vietnamese calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day. Many Vietnamese prepare for Tết by cooking special holiday food and cleaning the house. These foods include bánh chưng, bánh dày, dried young bamboo soup (canh măng), giò, and sticky rice. Many customs are practiced during Tết, such as visiting a person's house on the first day of the new year (xông nhà), ancestor worship, wishing New Year's greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people, and opening a shop.

Tết is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. They start forgetting about the troubles of the past year and hope for a better upcoming year. They consider Tết to be the first day of spring and the festival is often called ''Hội xuân ''(spring festival).


TET/PRAO (Työelämään tutustuminen in Finnish, Praktisk arbetslivsorientering in Swedish, lit. familiarization with working life) is a program providing one to three weeks of experience working in a real job during middle school (lower secondary education) in Finland and Sweden.

The program is one to three weeks long and takes place in 8th or 9th grade, depending on the school. Each student can choose and apply to his or her job independently and has to sign a contract with both the school and the employer. Often students end up working with a relative or friend.

Students working in the program are normally entitled to one free meal per day, but they receive no salary or allowance. Costs incurred by the employer are paid by the Finnish/Swedish state.

The purpose of the program is to introduce students to real-life working environments. TET students normally have a six-hour workday, with only one mandatory 30-minute lunch break. Rules require that no heavy lifting (over 15 kg) be part of normal labour, and there are other specifications.

Têt (river)

The Têt is the largest river in Roussillon, southwestern France. It is long. The Têt has its source at the foot of the Pic Carlit in the Pyrenees. It crosses the Pyrénées-Orientales département ( Northern Catalonia) from West to East and ends in the Mediterranean Sea, near Perpignan .


Tét is a town in Győr-Moson-Sopron county, Hungary. It is located between the town of Pápa (21 km north) and the city of Győr (24 km south) in the Little Hungarian Plain. According to 1990 census it used to have 4,252 inhabitants, nearly all of them Hungarian by ethnicity. Neighbouring settlements are: Rábaszentmihály, Kisbabot, Rábaszentmiklós, Mórichida, Gyömöre, Felpéc, Győrszemere and the city of Győr.

Tet (Morris Louis painting)

Tet (1958), by Morris Louis, is a painting composed of four fan-like stains of blues, greens, violets, and yellows. The colors converge and slide into each other, giving them the qualities of liquid. The pools at the bottom of the painting reveal the artist’s method and process; the colors have forged deltas originating from these concentrated areas of watered down pigment. Louis used gravity to manipulate the thinned paint, resulting in these streams and fans of color. Currently it is in the Whitney Museum of American Art and was exhibited in "American Art, 1940-1965: Traditions Reconsidered" and in the Whitney exhibit "Synthetic".

Morris Louis (née Morris Louis Bernstein) was an American painter who is often categorized in the second generation of Abstract Expressionists, but has also been placed in the Color Field artists and the Minimalists. His painting Tet, from 1958, is an example of his work with the staining method which he used for the majority of his career. Louis was a prodigy of the notable critic Clement Greenberg. Greenberg was introduced to Louis via Kenneth Noland, a friend of the artist who also lived in Washington DC. Greenberg in turn introduced Louis to galleries and to artists in New York such as Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, and Helen Frankenthaler. It was Frankenthaler who created the technique of staining: a process using thinned paint and gravity on an unstretched and untreated canvas.

Greenberg admired Frankenthaler’s technique because of his theories on “purism” within the arts. Greenberg believed that painting’s one characteristic which distinguished it from other art forms was its “flatness.” This quality was enhanced by the staining process. The paint actually soaked into the surface of the canvas, showing no three-dimensional qualities. Frankenthaler’s painting Mountains and Sea would stand as Louis’s primary influence in his shift from mimicry of German Expressionism to his more recognizable work with staining. After Greenberg introduced Louis to the technique, he championed the artist’s paintings as “pure” paintings, more so even than Greenberg’s previous prodigy, Jackson Pollock.

Louis’ paintings are divided into several groups, Tet belonging to the Veils II series. Louis used his staining technique throughout his short career, and his ability to mix both “muddiness and density” allow individual pigments to be simultaneously highlighted and muted within the same canvas. As Charles Millard describes, Louis’s works were finely articulated, yet distinctly indistinct, embodying a conflation of clear intent and chaotic chance. While there are portions on Tet’s surface that are undoubtedly muddy, the density and depth within the murky concentrations of pigment reveal Louis’ ability to create a pseudo-illusionistic surface, more so even than his contemporary Barnett Newman’s pulsing pigments, seen in works such as Vir Heroicus Sublimis. Louis was more widely accepted by critics and the public than Newman, especially due to the nature-like allusions in his work. Once again using the river delta imagery, Louis’s Tet can be seen as a pseudo-illusionistic allusion to nature. Many of his other works can be seen as references to nature as well.

Perhaps the reason Louis’s Tet was so successful was because of the variation in pigment which allowed the colors to mix as well as stand out. Louis used this quality in his works in order to create an “articulation” amongst the colors as well as an overall atmospheric effect. The colors are the subject matter in his works. Louis allowed the paint to carve its own paths on the canvas, and the natural formations that resulted were much more accessible than previous Abstract Expressionist paintings. The viewer could discern nature-like shapes and forms in Louis’s work, allowing them to have a much more personal experience with the work, rather than Newman’s difficult and extremely abstracted works.

Although the natural formations were so popular, they presented a difficulty for Louis. According to Millard, a notable critic of Louis’s works, “they are most noticeable around the darkest and densest of the Veils, the darkness and density resulting from the very intensity of the hues seen at the edges, and suggest the difficulty of trying to make hue speak when only pale values result in openness when poured over one another…” In these fields of color, it seems nearly impossible to create intensity and pictorial focus in the paintings. Louis’ paintings are unsaturated, so the individual colors do not call for focus. It seems that Louis understood the lack of a focal point and corrected it with the introduction of columns and fans. By adjusting the flow of the paints into various different shapes, he was able to create very specific focal points, without which the works would likely have been less successful. These flows can be viewed in Number 99 (1959) and Convergent (1954), in which the paint fans out in rounded trails and amorphous amoeba-like shapes.

Finally, Louis’ Tet can be seen as a form of Symbolist painting. Michael Fried described Louis’ paintings as symbolist in their “impersonality” and “absolute”-ness. Louis had changed his name from Bernstein, but his Jewish upbringing was a large influence on his works as can be seen in the symbols of his early works. Louis’ early works contained more obvious symbology, such as a Star of David in Untitled (Jewish Star) (1951), but Fried argued that his works were not directly influenced by symbolism, but were rather connected to it in their mimicry of the Symbolist model: “of a work of art as having a life of its own, independent of its maker and corresponding to, rather than imitating, the organic self-sufficiency of nature.” Tet can be seen as symbolism in its use of the natural flow of pigment and the organic allusion it achieved. Louis’ works achieved a certain spiritual experience for the viewer, one which was likely a direct result of Louis’ Jewish upbringing.

TET (TV channel)

TET is a Ukrainian-language national entertainment TV channel broadcasting in Ukraine. It is part of the large 1+1 Media Group, and broadcasts to more than 100 cities in Ukraine, with a technical penetration of  92.4%. The target audience of the channel is 14–30 years old.

Usage examples of "tet".

Some joined in fierce combat with the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese in and around Saigon and Hue during the Tet Offensive.

Our mandate for the television series was to let these men tell stories of their life in battle: under siege at Khe Sanh, in ambush at the battle of the la Drang Valley, and during the Tet Offensive, the air war, the secret war, and the fall of Saigon.

When the Tet Offensive broke loose without warning in Saigon, these were the men in combat on the ever moving, always dangerous front lines in the narrow, cluttered city streets.

During Tet in Saigon and Hue, wherever Americans came under attack, especially at la Drang, where the action was so intense it defied reason, and in Khe Sanh where the siege went on for nearly three months, tedium was hardly the problem.

Med at Dong Ha was handling casualties from Hue City as a result of the Tet battle there.

During Tet they played a crucial role defending their positions when they battled at the American embassy in Saigon, inside the alleys, and on the streets of the cities.

All this happened during the planned and agreed-on cease-fire for Tet, the Vietnamese New Year.

The experience of the Tet Offensive was the turning point for American public opinion, after which discontent and opposition grew.

Still, because of the power of television, Tet became a major psychological defeat for the United States and its ally, South Vietnam.

On the eve of Tet, because of a shortage of men, they had been working twelve-hour shifts.

I did notice about a month prior to Tet during the Christmas season, an awful lot of funerals.

When Tet started and the marines and the fighting started, my next vision of the city was total chaos.

At the time of the Tet Offensive, their assigned weapons were under lock and key.

Vietnamese were firing off fireworks to celebrate Tet, celebrating with libations.

Purcell was among the first marines to enter Hue City February 1, 1968, when the Tet Offensive was one day old.