Vietnam is a cultural country, so there are a lot of holidays and festivals held around the year. If you are going to visit Vietnam, choosing a day that Vietnamese people organize their holidays is a chance for you to experience the cuture. What are Vietnamese holidays you should know?
1. What are some Vietnamese holidays?
There are 2 type of holidays in Vietnam: Public Holidays and The others. Public Vietnamese holidays are days when employees get the day off work. Commonly, these days are many traditional holidays of country. The other holidays depends on regions in Vietnam, and workers aren’t allowed to get the day off work.
Some of Public Holidays can be listed are: The Lunar New Year (from last day of the last lunar month to 5th day of the first lunar month), The Hung Kings Commemorations (10th day of the 3rd lunar month), Reunification Day (April 30), International Labour Day (May 1) and The Independence Day (September 2).
Some other holidays are: Mid-year Festival (5/5 lunar calendar), Lantern Festival (Full moon of the 1st month, 15/1 lunar calendar), Buddha’s Birthday (15th of the 4th month, lunar calendar), Mid-Autumn Festival ( 15th day of 8th month lunar calendar)…
2. What is the Vietnamese holiday Tet?
The Vietnamese New Year holiday is the largest holiday of the year, occurs from last day of the last lunar month to 5th day of the first lunar month (around late January-early February). This holiday has many names: Tet, Lunar New Year and Vietnamese New Year.
Tet derived from the Chinese New Year based on the lunar calendar, a lunisolar calendar, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. The Vietnamese prepare for Tet carefully, such as cooking special holiday food, purchasing new furniture for house, cleaning the house. Each regions will have different dishes to celebrate Tet, as banh Chung, banh Day, dried young bamboo soup from North, banh Tet and Caramelized pork and eggs from South…
Tết is also an occasion for family reunions. On many first days, people do many customs such as visiting friends and relatives’ houses, ancestor worship, wishing New Year’s greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people or grand opening a shop. The Vietnamese consider Tet to be the first day of spring and year, so they also forget all the troubles of the past year and hope for a better upcoming year. Every one happily welcomes Tet.
At Tet, streets are covered with colorful days, Nguyen Hue walking street is full of flowers and visitors because of yearly flower event. Every house is generally decorated by Yellow Apricot blossoms (hoa mai) in the South, peach blossoms (hoa đào) in the North. Moreover, people in southern part of Vietnam also use bonsai and flowers such as chrysanthemums (hoa cúc), marigolds (vạn thọ) symbolizing longevity, meanwhile those in northern part use cockscombs (mào gà), paperwhites (thủy tiên) and pansies (hoa lan). These popular decorations have many good different meaning that family hopes in the coming year.
3. Is there a Vietnamese holiday today?
As said, Vietnam is still a mainly traditional country, with a number of pagodas and shrines dedicated to Buddha, various deities and sants. Therefore, plenty of cultural events are celebrated around the year, we will list for you many best Vietnamese holidays so that it’s convinient for you to arrange a trip to Vietnam.
Vietnamese Holidays in February – March
Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnamese Lunar New Year)
This is an interesting time to visit Vietnam and you will have the oppornity to experience the lively and busy climate of Tet. It is celebrated throughout Vietnam, so no matter which province of Vietnam you go, you can also enjoy this holiday.
It takes place from last day of the last lunar month to 5th day of the first lunar month (around late January-early February)
Bai Dinh Pagoda Festival
Bai Dinh pagoda festival is held on the sixth day of lunar first month in Sinh Duoc village, Gia Sinh commune , Gia Vien District every year. What makes the festival more solemn? Because it is held to not only worship the Buddha and Gods but also honor many significant historical events related to heroes like Quang Trung, Dinh Bo Linh.
On the first day of the festival, local people from both young and old age execute a colourful procession from the bottom of Dinh mountain to the main pagoda on the top. Villagers spend weeks beforehand preparing the floats and costumes. In the ceremony, many people perform the traditional musical instrument or hold flags.
During the festival, the pagoda are always crowded with many groups of people staying in line to wait for visiting. Their faces are all eager and happy when they join in the festival.
Co Loa Citadel Festival
Co Loa Citadel Festival held just after Lunar New Year Festival, is from 6th to 16th day of the first lunar month in the year. This festival takes place at Upper Temple (“Den Thuong”), Dong Anh District, Hanoi.
The main festival day is in the 6th day and begins with a solemn procession of 12 villages in the area. When the procession arrives Upper Temple, the olderly make an incense-offering liturgy on the yard right in front of the temple. That means they honor contribution of King An Duong Vuong causing of construction and defense country.
After the part of liturgy, there are many activites and games for visitors to participate, such as “bamboo swings” (danh du), “nem con” (game of throwing a sacred ball through the ring), rice cooking competition, “ca tru” singing, “quan ho” singing, “cheo” performance (type of performing arts).
Vietnam Festivals in April – May
Hue Festival 2018
Hue Festival is a biennial festival held in the former imperial capital of Hue, lasts a week with different types of performing arts: theater, puppetry, dance, music, and acrobatics… They takes place in different places around the city, though most of the activities are organized around the grounds of the Hue Citadel.
Hung Kings’ Temple Festival
The Hung Kings’ Temple Festival is a Vietnamese festival celebrated annually from the 8th to the 11th day of the third lunar month in honour of the Hung King. This festival held with the reason to remember and express gratitude to the contribution of the Hung Kings who are the traditional founders of the nation and became its first emperors. The 10th day is the main festival day and Vietnamese people will have a day off work .
On the main day of this festival, a procession begins at the foot of the mountain, and finishes at every small temple before reaching the High Temple.
Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated in the 15th day of 4th month according to lunar month and throughout Vietnam. What do they do in this festival? Temples are decorated with splendid decorations with fruit, lots of different flowers, and numerous Vietnamese dishes. Thousands of visitors and Buddhist are attracted with parades in street and prayer sessions.
Danang International Fireworks Festival DIFF
If you plan to Da Nang in April 29 and 30, you can’t ignore the Danang International Fireworks Demonstration Contest (Danang International Fireworks Competition – DIFC. This is a frireworks competition of many countries in the world.
In this time, Da Nang is full of sparkling and color, paint a scene incredibly unique and compelling. Many arts programs also take place two nights on Han River – where the DIFF held – as traditional boat racing on the Han River, art exhibitions, flower drop on the Han River…
Vietnam Festivals in September/October
Mid – Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated commonly by the Vietnamese and Chinese. Nowadays, it is a favorite festival for children, with toys, candies, fruit, and colorful lanterns. The festival takes place on the 15th day of the 8th month according to lunar month (late September to early October).
Mooncakes are traditionally eaten during the festival. Its flavor is delicious and unforgetable.
Independence Day – September 2nd
In Vietnam, National Day is celebrated on 2 September and is a day off work. This is surely a memorable day with foreign visitors with speeches, parades, fireworks and national flag of Vietnam displayed everywhere. The street is also crowded because if the holiday falls on a weekend, the following Monday may be considered as a public holiday and people take a short trip on this occasion.
Festivals offer visitors the best opportunity for getting closer with the myths, customs and fun-loving spirit of this proud country.