Vietnam is a country rich in culture and tradition. There are many festivals and holidays throughout the year that are celebrated by Vietnamese people from all walks of life. From the Lunar New Year to the Mid-Autumn Festival, there is always something to celebrate in Vietnam! Here is a guide to the top 10 festivals and holidays in Vietnam.
1. Lunar New Year (Tet Holiday)
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photo: Hoàng Chương
Tet is the biggest and most important holiday in Vietnam. It is celebrated at the start of the lunar new year and usually falls in late January or early February. Tet is a time for a family reunion, gift-giving, and feasting. On the eve of Tet, families will gather together and have a feast of traditional Vietnamese dishes. The next day, they will visit their relatives and friends to wish them a happy new year.
2. Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival that is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. It falls in September or October on the Gregorian calendar. Families will get together and enjoy mooncakes, which are round cakes filled with lotus seed paste or bean paste, as well as fruits and nuts. Lanterns are also an integral part of the Mid-Autumn festival, and children often carry lanterns shaped like animals or flowers during processionals.
3. Lantern Festival
photo: Norbert Braun
The Lantern Festival, also called Tết Trung Nguyên, is a celebration that takes place in Vietnam during the first full moon of the new year. It’s held on the 15th day of the first lunar month, which is usually in February. This holiday has its roots in Chinese culture and it’s observed by Vietnamese people who still practice Buddhism or Taoism. During this festival, many people hang up lanterns at home using colorful paper and wood to celebrate their ancestors and their loved ones. Some people make these lanterns themselves or buy them from shops, but others buy them from street vendors who come to their neighborhoods with their carts full of these pretty decorations for sale.
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The lanterns are hung up outside so that they can be seen from far away—it’s like an invitation for all the spirits in heaven and hell to come down on earth for a visit! When these spirits arrive with their lanterns, they’ll have food waiting for them on tables outside so they don’t have to go inside homes where they might scare people with their scary faces (this is a way of showing respect). After eating some food together
4. International Women’s Day
This holiday is celebrated on March 8th every year to honor women all over the world. In Vietnam, it is traditional for men to give gifts to the women in their lives such as flowers, chocolates, or jewelry. Many businesses also offer special discounts for women on this day.
5. Independence Day
Independence Day is celebrated on September 2nd to mark the day when Vietnam gained independence from France in 1945. parades and fireworks displays are held in cities all over Vietnam to celebrate this momentous occasion.
6. National Reunification Day (Liberation Day)
National Reunification Day celebrates when North and South Vietnam were reunified under Communist rule in 1976. It falls on April 30th every year. Fireworks displays and military parades are held in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
7. Dong Da Hill Fight Victory Day
Dong Da Hill Fight Victory Day commemorates when Vietminh forces defeated French colonialists at Dong Da Hill on February 10th, 1885. Festivities are usually held at historical museums across Vietnam.
8. Hung Kings’ Temple Festival
Hung Kings’ Temple Festival honors the founders of the first Vietnamese dynasty. It takes place on the 10th day of the 3rd lunar month every year (usually in April or May) at temples dedicated to the Hung Kings across Vietnam.
9. Christmas Eve
photo: Tron Le
Christmas Eve is celebrated on December 24th every year by Christians living in Vietnam as well as those who have been influenced by Western culture. Families will gather together for dinner and exchange gifts under a Christmas tree. Many people will attend midnight Mass at their local church, followed by a feast of traditional foods such as banh chung (rice cakes), hue (Vietnamese soup), and giò lách (fried rice vermicelli). Children will receive new clothes and toys, while adults will receive money or other gifts.
10. New Year’s Eve
photo: Sang Huynh
New Year’s Eve is celebrated on December 31st every year to mark the beginning of a new year according to the Gregorian calendar. Families will stay up until midnight to welcome the new year with prayers and wishes for health and happiness in the coming year. During this celebration, people will pray for health and happiness in the coming year. They will also exchange gifts with one another and often visit temples or pagodas together as a family.
There are many festivals and holidays throughout the year that are celebrated by Vietnamese people from all walks of life. From Tet Holiday to Hung Kings’ Temple Festival, there is always something to celebrate!
I love how colorful all of the celebrations are and how open and friendly they are with people who are not local to the area. It seems like people without their own culture don’t like others sharing theirs and people enjoying it. Shame on those people.
They have such amazing festivals and holidays in Vietnam. I have never been there to celebrate any of them unfortunately. Maybe some day!
This guide to the top festivals and holidays in Vietnam has me buzzing with excitement! As someone who has visited Saigon before, I can’t wait to return and explore more of the country’s rich culture and traditions. The Hoi An Lantern Festival, in particular, sounds like an absolute dream. I can already picture the stunning lanterns floating down the Thu Bon River.
I had no idea that Vietnam had so many unique festivals and holidays! Reading through this article has really piqued my curiosity about this fascinating country.
I never knew about some of these! Thank you for sharing this. I always want to take part in things like this when I travel but most places don’t advertise it or are not very inviting but that does not seem to be an issue in Vietnam.
I can’t wait to experience the vibrant energy of the Hue Festival and indulge in the delicious mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Thank you for this informative guide on the top 10 festivals and holidays in Vietnam. As someone who is planning to visit the country soon, this article has given me a great insight into the rich culture and traditions of Vietnam. I appreciate the attention to detail and the clear explanations of each festival. Keep up the good work!