Festivals in Vietnam are wonderful occasions for travelers to experience the authentic culture. Just join in the cheerful ambiance and beautiful long last traditions. Here are the top 5 festivals in Vietnam to add to your Vietnam itinerary.
Tết Holiday – Vietnamese Lunar New Year
Tết, shorted for “Tết Nguyên Đán” is considered to be one of the most essential festivals in Vietnam. Like the international new year, Tết is the time to say goodbye to the old year and welcome a new year to come, but according to the Lunar Calendar. Therefore, it’s usually expected from late January to early February in Solar Calendar.
The festival is an occasion for family reunion, pay respects to their ancestors and wish for a prosperous and successful new year. Principally a religious celebration, so don’t expect too much of a dynamic party, but it’s still fascinating to watch lighting fireworks, visiting stunning pagodas and temples amidst incense fog and experience long-lasted traditional cultures.
You’ll find people in beautiful traditional clothes wandering on the streets. In many parts in the cities, streets are covered in red and golden ornaments for lucky wishes. Overall, it’s the best time to enjoy the unique joyful ambiance across Vietnam.
Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam
Mid-Autumn festival or Trung Thu is a standout amongst the most popular celebrations in Vietnam. Held on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar Month, it can also be considered as the festival for children. During this occasion, you can find colorful lattern put up on the streets in various shapes. Families go shopping to prepare for their beautiful feast tray on their ancestral altar. Kids are usually granted a toy, masks and latterns are most popular, to play under the moon.
The celebration of the harvest is an important part of Trung Thu, as it marks the joyous time when the work is done. Throughout the country, travelers will be amazed at stunning lion dance, cheery moonlight celebrations and a wide range of mooncakes. In addition, there’s a Lartern Festival in Hoi An when people pour into the Ancient Town to release lanterns on the rivers to bring good fortune and love. It’s actually held year round but it’s usually the biggest and busiet at this time
Wandering Souls Day
This is an important among Vietnamese festivals, as it is dedicated to the spirits of the departed. Also known as Tet Trung Nguyen, the festival takes place on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month, which is usually falls on early September. It is believed that on this day, souls of the ancestors visit the family to bless them. People often go to nearby temples and pagodas to pay respect to their dear ones, especially their parents. Offerings of flowers, sticky rice cakes, sugarcane, and fruits are presented, and items such as paper money and clothes are burned as a part of the rituals.
The best place to experience this festival in Vietnam is perhaps Hue. Here, many pagodas and shrines hold solemn prayer services to honour the spirits. In this day, chilled dishes such as banh troi (floating rice cake), and Banh chay (glutinous rice balls with mung bean paste) are usually eaten.
New Year’s Eve
Fortunately, Vietnam celebrates both the Lunar New Year and the Gregorian New Year. Everyone is always thrilled to celebrate the first day of a international calendar. If Tet is more of the reunion side, this time is mostly for having fun and parties. For a memorable New Year’s Eve in Vietnam, head to city center for fireworks, live concerts and streets teeming with locals in a party mood. You may want to book a roof top bar for a fun night.
Hue festival is one of the biggest festivals in Vietnam that takes place every two years. The festival is held in Hue, the historical city in Central Vietnam, also the once capital of Nguyen Dynasty. During a week of April, the festival brings history to life with spectacular performances around the city. Come and experience an amazing array of traditional games, cultural events, and performances. In addition, you can join in many stunning shows like dialogue of drums and percussions, Hue Poetry Festival, and Ao Dai Fashion Shows, human chess, boat racing, kite flying, and more.