Festivals and holidays in Vietnam
Festivals and holidays in Vietnam are very colorful and are celebrated on a large scale. If there are holidays in the city during your vacations be sure to visit them, so you’ll see all the bright colors and exotics of such events in Vietnam. We want to tell you about the main holidays and festivals of the country.
Tet, or Vietnamese New Year is the most popular and main holiday of the year for all the Vietnamese. The date of the holiday is not fixed and depends on the lunar calendar. New Year is most often celebrated in February. For this time, the streets and houses are decorated with yellow flowers in huge tubs, peach and apricot flowering trees (and their plastic counterparts, like we do with Christmas trees), tangerine trees. Trucks ride the streets, bringing cheerful boys playing gongs, stopping from time to time to perform a traditional dance of lions and dragons in colorful costumes.
New Year is celebrated in a big way and it takes more time than the Christmas celebrations in Europe. The Vietnamese spend the New Year Eve with their family, and after a couple of days, go to the resorts, so it’s hard to hind a vacant hotel room (we advise you to book in advance).
It’s also much harder to buy tickets for intercity buses and their prices rise 1,5-2 times during Tet.
Dates of celebration of the New Year (Tet) in Vietnam for the next five years:
- February 5, 2019 — the year of the Pig.
- January 25, 2020 — the year of the Rat.
- February 12, 2021 — the year of the Ox.
Mid-autumn festival is another traditional Vietnamese holiday. Its date is also set according to the lunar calendar. This day usually falls on September. It is believed that on the night of the mid-autumn celebration the lunar disk is the roundest and brightest in the year. This holiday is also timed to the end of the harvest. At this time, special moon cakes prepared according to traditional recipes are baked. People make paper lanterns of various shapes for the holiday. Lanterns can be made, for example, in the form of fish or lotus flowers. Children go to the streets in the evening, holding lighted lanterns. Trays full of sweets and fruit are put under the open sky, so the kids can enjoy them.
Dates of the nearest Mid-Autumn Festivals in Vietnam:
- September 13, 2019.
- October 1, 2020.
The war is still a recent event in the memory of the Vietnamese people, so they treat this holiday with special respect. On the anniversary of Victory on 30th of April, major cities of Vietnam organize parades and rallies and the streets are decorated with flags and banners with congratulations. Many people go to the temples to honor the memory of the deceased in such a difficult period of time for the Vietnamese. Some families use the public holidays to go to the sea to spend time together and once again enjoy the free life and peace that now prevails in the country.
Independence Day is another important national Vietnamese holiday. It’s celebraten on the 2nd of September. On this day in 1945, Ho Chi Minh Ho Chi Minh declared the country’s independence from foreign invaders at a rally in Hanoi. On September 2, rallies and demonstrations are held throughout the country, and beautiful fireworks in honor of the holiday are launched at nightfall.
In general, in the old quarter of Hoi An festive atmosphere reigns daily. After all, the houses and streets here are decorated with beautiful lanterns of different colors. But every 14th day of each lunar month (every full moon), the city hosts the full moon festival. After the streets get dark, electric lighting in the old district is turned off and many fabric and paper lanterns are lit. You can launch lanterns made of paper, making a wish. People burn fragrant incense and ritual money on the streets. This tradition is associated with the care of the dead. It is believed that the burned money will get to another world and the ancestors could use them. During the festival, the city is immersed in a completely magical atmosphere, which is sure to be remembered for a long time by all those present at the festival.
Dalat Flower Festival takes place every two years. It is usually celebrated at the end of December – beginning of January. Flowers presented at festivals, are not only grown in Vietnam. The feast attracts the lovers of flowers from different countries. It is a very large-scale and colorful event that attracts a large number of visitors. It is noteworthy that all the flowers at the festival are not cut, and grow in flower beds or in pots. The climate of Dalat is very favorable for the cultivation of flowers, fragrant and pleasing with their ideal petals. Special attention is drawn to the local orchids of different colors. Visitors can admire the magnificent flowers, as well as buy bulbs of plants for their home.
Fruit Festival in Saigon is another bright and positive event. At the festival you can see incredible, amazing installations made of various fruits. The festival takes place from the second decade of may to august. It was first organized in 2004. The visitors can not only admire the splendor of fruits and compositions made of them, but also buy fruits at competitive prices. In addition, at the festival you can see performances of artists and take part in various entertainment events. The festival takes place in the Suoi Tien Park. The number of visitors can reach up to a million.
Fireworks Festival takes place in Da Nang, one of the biggest cities of Central Vietnam. It usually lasts for two days, but in 2019 it was prolongued for three weeks. In 2019, the festival starts on March, 29. In addition to fireworks, visitors will enjoy music and cooking festivals and paragliding performances. The organizers said that about 460000 people were planning to visit the event.
Another interesting annual festival takes place on the island of Cat Ba in April. It has been held since Ho Chi Minh visited one of the villages of the island in 1959. The festival attracts both locals and tourists. Colorful long boats with bows decorated with dragon heads take part in the competition. This is a bright and exciting event.
Hung Kings’ Temple Festival is a recently established holiday, first time celebrated in 2007. It is celebrated on March, 10 on the lunar calendar. Hung Kings are the ancestors of the viets, who founded the ancient state formation of Wanglan, which existed in the bronze age. The Hungs are revered by the Vietnamese and are semi-mythical heroes. The main festivities take place in a certain temple complex, which is located in Phu Tho (province in Northern Vietnam). At this time, the festival takes place, where you can participate in traditional Vietnamese games and hear traditional music.
Of course, that´s not all the festivals and holidays celebrated in Vietnam, but just the most important and interesting ones. We hope you can witness some of them: feel the atmosphere of Tet, admire the stunning orchids at the Flower Festival s in Dalat, feel the magic, admiring the lanterns in Hoi an on the full Moon.
Vietnam is fraught with many interesting and exciting things, and we are willing to show you only the best!