Every year, Vietnam has many traditional holidays celebrated. The festival in Vietnam offers visitors the best opportunity to get up close to the legends, customs and cheerful spirit of this proud country. Despite its modern developments, Vietnam is still a traditional country, with thousands of temples and shrines dedicated to Buddha as well as various deities and symbolic figures.
We have compiled a list of Vietnam holidays and traditions, and while they are celebrated anywhere in the country, we have made some suggestions on the best places for you to be. Experience the full range of this unique type of event during your holiday.
1. Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year)
The festival was originally organized by Vietnamese farmers to thank the gods for the arrival of spring, a practice dating back thousands of years. Today, it is a time to pay homage to our ancestors and to celebrate the New Year with family members (‘Tet, which is the abbreviation for Chinese New Year, translated as Feast of the First Morning of the first day).
Held from late January to early February, this is officially a three-day celebration. In the weeks before the Lunar New Year, all the houses were thoroughly cleaned (sometimes repainted) to escape all the bad luck of the old year while the ancestor altar was given five fruits and paper, local votive. Locals also decorate their homes with colorful flowers like chrysanthemums, marigolds, along with peach blossoms and kumquat trees.
Children often receive money kept in red envelopes of their parents and relatives. As with most Asian countries, Vietnamese people often wear red and yellow during festivals because they believe that the colors symbolize prosperity and good luck. Buddhist temples across Vietnam also have many local people who donate and receive their good fortune during Tet.
Tet is also a great time for locals to enjoy a variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes like Banh Chung (square steamed bun), gio cha (ham / Vietnamese sausage), xoi (sticky rice) and Thit ga (steamed chicken). Visitors are also served with tea and jam (a variety of dried fruits and nuts), kept in ornate boxes and placed at a table in the living room.
As the most important festival in Vietnam, most offices, shops, restaurants, and attractions are closed for the first three days of Tet. Flights are also often fully booked about a week before the festival, so it is highly recommended that you plan ahead and book your flight to Vietnam as soon as possible.
2. Hue Festival
Hue Festival is a biennial celebration taking place in Hue city. Here you can enjoy a wide range of cultural events, games, and performances held throughout the week. Established in 2000, the festival was organized to preserve the traditions that have been practiced since the Nguyen Dynasty.
Hue Festival is held in April, May or June every year. It takes place at 40 locations around the city. Some of the unique events held include the Hue Poetry Festival, Dialogue of drums and percussion and Ao Dai fashion show. You can also enjoy sports activities like kite flying, boat racing, and chess. Since Hue was the capital of Vietnam in the 19th century, the festival also held rites of royal ceremonies, such as the coronation of King Nguyen Hue and doctoral competitions. Street performances, film screenings, and art exhibitions are also held throughout the festival week. Giving visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural and heritage city, the Hue Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Vietnam.
3. Huong Pagoda Festival
The Huong Pagoda Festival attracts a large number of local pilgrims from all over Vietnam to the Huong Pagoda, where they pray for a prosperous year and pay homage to the Buddha. The pilgrimage begins with a dragon dance at Den Trinh Pagoda on January 15 of the lunar calendar, where pilgrims (and even tourists) travel by boat along the Yen River to the foot of Huong Mountain, going through limestone caves and rice fields. The journey continues on foot by climbing hundreds of stone steps towards Huong Tich cave, providing a colorful display of food offerings, statues of the gods, lighting and praying for the locals.
The Huong Pagoda Festival takes place at Huong Pagoda in Hanoi, from the 15th day of the first lunar month.
4. Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival held on the 14th and 15th of the lunar August month features a range of activities such as children carrying paper lanterns, lion dance, and food stalls selling mooncakes, glutinous rice, fruits and more. Different types of candy.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is best enjoyed in Hoi An, where you will see many street performances, lanterns and art exhibitions throughout UNESCO’s-listed Ancient Town. Children also participate in essays, drawing and coloring competitions during the Mid-Autumn Festival, while visitors can enjoy the spectacular views of colorful paper lanterns along the Thu Bon River and Japanese covered bridge.
5. Hung King Temple Festival
King Hung Temple Festival was held to commemorate King Kinh Duong Vuong, who became the first king of Vietnam in 2879BC. While the main worshiping event took place at Hung Pagoda, located on the summit of Nghia Linh Mountain in Phu Tho Province, 100 lanterns were released into the sky on the night before the festival. The next morning, a flower ceremony was held at Den Thuong (Thuong Temple), where Hung kings often worshiped deities during their reign. Finally, a huge procession begins at the foot of the mountain, including pilgrims, performing xoan classical songs and ca tru classical music at several temples along the way to the main temple of Hung.
Hung King Temple festival is held at Hung pagoda on Nghia Linh Mountain in Phong Chau District, Phu Tho province.
6. Lim Festival
The Lim Festival is where you can enjoy UNESCO-recognized folk singing performances and a variety of traditional games. Held on the 12th and 13th of the first lunar month, several stages are built in the village where you can see locals performing in traditional costumes. You should go to the lake outside the Lim House to see the singing performance on a dragon boat. The Lim Festival also hosts folk games such as swing (bamboo swing), cockfighting, tug of war, wrestling, chess people, and bluff blind people.
The Lim festival is held in Lim village, located in Tien Du district, Bac Ninh province. Located 18 km from Hanoi, you can easily move to this traditional village by bus or rental car.
7. Wandering Souls Day
The annual wandering soul day takes place on the 15th of the seventh lunar month, which locals believe to be the day when the spirits of their ancestors can visit their homes. On the eve of the festival, families flock to the temples and graves of loved ones who have gone away to pray, flowers, sticky rice cakes, sugarcane, and fruits. Paper money and clothes were also burned during this time of the year.
The best place to enjoy this bleak festival is in Hue, where many temples and Buddhist temples are flooded with locals and monks performing rituals and prayers. The festival is also known as the Cold Food Festival (Han Thuc Tet).
8. Hoi An Lantern Festival
The Hoi An lantern festival is a monthly event. On the 14th day of each lunar month, every shop, restaurant, bar, and business in the Old Quarter turns off all electricity and uses light-based on hundreds of candles and lanterns.
The Hoi An lantern festival takes place in Hoi An recognized by UNESCO, but the best place to celebrate is along the Old Quarter area. Held till late, the street was also packed with musicians playing traditional instruments, Chinese chess, reading poetry and lantern making classes.
9. Buddha’s Birthday
Despite being a communist country, but Vietnam has many followers of Buddhism. Buddha’s birthday is celebrated by followers throughout Vietnam. Taking place on the 8th of the fourth lunar month, many temples are ornately decorated with locals offering fruits, garlands and various Vietnamese dishes. The event often attracts thousands of visitors who want to attend street parades and prayers.
Hoi An is the best place to enjoy this festival. Held at Phach Bao pagoda, the day begins with a procession of monks along the streets of Hoi An Ancient Town before the locals flock to the temple to conduct religious rituals and listen to classics. Buddhism. In the evening, a lively parade along the main street of the Old Quarter, garlands and lanterns are placed along the river.
10. Phu Giay Festival
The Phu Giay Festival draws followers of the goddess Lieu Hanh to Phu Giay Pagoda, where they pray for good luck while carrying decorative bamboo relics and wearing traditional costumes.
Located 88km east of Hanoi, the temple also hosts various games such as catch chess, human chess, lion dance, and wrestling, resulting in a lively atmosphere throughout the day.
The Phu Giay Festival is only held by villages in Kim Thai commune, with the best place to organize it is Phu Giay Pagoda.