And people all over Asia are celebrating the start of the year 4,702. But in Vietnam, this New Year's celebration had a bit of a hitch.
Packets of money are traditionally given to children for good luck. But some kids thought they were getting candy, and swallowed the coins!
Why did they think it was candy? Coins have not been part of the currency in Vietnam for more than 20 years. Coins were phased out during the switch to a socialist economy, when runaway inflation made the coins virtually worthless. Since then, all the money in Vietnam has been paper, and the biggest banknote they had was the 100,000 dong worth about $6.40 in U.S. dollars. But in an effort to promote the use of vending machines and other conveniences, coins and large new bills were introduced last month. And now they're finding that an entire generation of Vietnamese have to be taught about metal money. So, what are they going to sell in those vending machines? Cigarettes, soft drinks, and live bait. Three more things not to put in your mouth.