One of the best ways to make sure that your trip to Vietnam is an unforgettable one is to plan it around the time of the festivals celebrated in the country. Inspired by the Chinese Lunar calendar, most of the cultural events and festivals in Vietnam are celebrated during specific times of the year.
Top Festivals In Vietnam That One Must Experience
While majority of the biggest festivals take place in the beginning of the year, it happens to be the perfect time to witness Vietnam in all its might. Take a look at some of the best Vietnam holidays and festivals that you must not miss during your next trip to this enchanting city.
1. Tet Nguyen Dan
Also known as Vietnam Lunar New Year, Tet Nguyen Dan is an important traditional festival in Vietnam. This Vietnamese festival is celebrated to thank the Gods for the arrival of spring while the locals pay respects to their ancestors and get together with family members to welcome the New Year. During this festival, bustling big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are less crowded as many people travel back to their hometowns to celebrate with family. Hanoi is a great place to enjoy Tet as Hanoi Opera House often hosts wonderful parties and firework displays at night while in the morning, you can see locals lighting incense and praying to ancestors at Ngoc Son Temple or Quan Su Pagoda.
Held On: The 1st day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar
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2. Perfume Pagoda Festival
When it comes to Vietnam festivals 2018, the Perfume Pagoda Festival is another extremely important one. The Perfume Pagoda is the most famous pilgrimage site in the country that welcomes thousands of pilgrims who make their way to the sacred caves to pray for a happy, and a prosperous year ahead. During this Vietnamese festival , devotees travel through a scenic gauntlet to get to the caves. Pass through a picturesque landscape of limestone mountains via a boat, rice paddies, walk past historical shrines and about hundreds of steps made of stones to arrive at the ultimate destination.
Held On: The 15th day of the first month of the Vietnamese Lunar Calendar
3. Hue Festival
This is one of the major Vietnamese festivals and celebration that takes place every two years in the UNESCO-listed Hue City. Experience and enjoy an amazing array of games, cultural events, and performances that is held for a week. In this one of the music festivals in Vietnam activities like dialogue of drums and percussions, Hue Poetry Festival, and Ao Dai Fashion Shows, human chess, boat racing, kite flying, and more, there will never be a dull moment in this festival. You can also enjoy art exhibitions, film screenings, acrobatics, puppetry, and street performances that are a part of traditional customs practiced by the Nguyen Dynasty back then.
Held On: Once in 2 years during April to June
4. Buddha’s Birthday
Buddha’s birthday is celebrated by devotees all over the country, and it is one of the most important festivals in Vietnam. Many temples throughout the country are adorned with lavish decorations and locals bring offerings of various Vietnamese dishes, flower garlands, and fruits. Thousands of visitors flock to Hoi An, considered to be the best place to celebrate this day and to partake in prayer sessions and street parades. Buddha’s Birthday is held at Phap Bao Pagoda with the day starting with a procession of monks along Hoi An Ancient Town’s streets before devotees make their way to the temple to listen to Buddhist scriptures and perform religious rites.
Held On: The 8th day of the 4th Lunar month
5. Hoi An Lantern Festival
If you want to witness a spectacular display, you should not miss the Hoi An Lantern Festival. It is a lantern festival Vietnam that takes place every month, transforming the quaint UNESCO World Heritage Site into an awe-inspiring display of paper lanterns of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Every restaurant, bar, shop, and business in the Ancient Town stops using electricity and lights up their venues with hundreds of lanterns as well as candles. While this festival takes place in Hoi An, the Ancient Town area is the best place to celebrate.
Held On: The 14th day of every month
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6. Mid-Autumn Festival
This is one of the Vietnam festivals that is celebrated on the 14th and 15th day of the lunar month. It is a very colorful festival wherein children and adults come together to enjoy the festivities. Lanterns are lit during the night time which makes this festival more worthy of visiting. Also known as the harvest festival, special food like moon cakes, jellies, and biscuits are prepared and served. Do not miss the Lion Dance performed on this day as it is a real spectacle.
Held on: Mid-September
7. Wandering Souls Day
It is believed to be one of the best full moon festival in Vietnam culture that the ancestors are able to visit their families on the 15th day of the 7th Lunar Month. On this day families flock to Buddhist temples offering respect to their loved once and have cakes, treats, food etc. This is a very extraordinary tradition and unique in festivals in Vietnam 2018.
Held on: Early September
8. Lim Festival
A traditional festival in Vietnam 2019, Lim Festival is the celebration of ‘Quan Ho’ singing. On this day, people in Vietnam play local games like tug-of-war, bamboo fighting, and wrestling. But the main highlight of this event is the choir singing where people dress up in colorful traditional costumes and sing local folk songs. It is one of the amazing ways for travelers to explore and learn about the traditions and culture of Vietnam.
Held on: 12th and 13th day of the first lunar month i.e. February
9. Phu Giay Festival
Proposed in the honor of Mother Saint Lieu Hanh, this festival is celebrated in Phu Giay Temple of Nam Dinh province, 55 km from Hanoi city. Why you should come all this way to watch the festivity here is because it is the largest and most original of all. People wear traditional costumes and carry ornated bamboo relics. Of course, there are cultural activities and local games held at this festival.
Held on: 30th day of the 2nd lunar month
10. Tet Han Thuc
Also known as the Cold Food Festival, it is one of the unique Vietnam festivals 2019 celebrated in the honor of Jie Zhitui, the loyal underman of the Duke of Quin in the 7th century B.C. The Duke neglected his loyal underman who then retreated to woods with his mother. Jie refused all the requests and appeals from the Duke to come back which made Duke light his house on fire to lure them out to the city. But he refused and instad dies in the fire. The Duke then commemorated the festival in his remembrane when any fire lighting is prohibited for the day.
Held in: April
These fascinating festivals in Vietnam is a fantastic way to experience the country’s culture. Plan a trip to Vietnam now and immerse yourself in rich culture and vibrant traditions of one of the best holiday destinations in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions About Festivals In Vietnam
Q1. What is the Mid Autumn Festival in Vietnam?
A. The Mid Autumn Festival in Vietnam is a harvest festival celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. The celebration involves offering sacrifices to the ‘god of Earth’.
Q2. Is Tet a religious holiday?
A. Tet is the Vietnamese New Year and is a national holiday. ‘Tet’ is short form for ‘Tet Nguyen Dan’ and means ‘festival’.
Q3. What religion is the most prevalent in Vietnamese?
A. The majority of population follows folk religions in Vietnam but Buddhism and Catholicism are the other prevalent religions in the country.
Q: What is the Mid Autumn Festival in Vietnam?
A. It is a festival where parents buy their children various types of lanterns, snacks and funny masks.
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