5 Traditional Festivals in Vietnam
Traditional festivals play a very significant role in culture. There is wide variety of the types of Vietnamese traditional festivals. Each festival has its own meaning and its way of celebrating, that is an attractive point for tourists when visiting Vietnam. Below are some of traditional festivals in Vietnam that tourists should not miss when traveling to Vietnam.
1. Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year)
Tet Nguyen Dan, the Vietnamese Spring Festival, is the biggest festivals in Vietnam and the most important traditional celebration for Vietnamese people. No matter how busy people are, they will arrange time to go home to reunite with their families and celebrate the beginning of the new year. Families eat a kind of square rice dumplings and round rice cake, which is an essential traditional food in Tet Nguyen Dan, symbolizing good weather, good harvest and good luck.
During the Spring Festival, people put on their festival costumes, eat reunion dinners, set off fireworks and cannons, sacrifice ancestors, visit temples and visit relatives and friends to celebrate each other. The capital city of Hanoi is the best place to enjoy Tet with locals as Hanoi Opera House often hosts wonderful parties and splendid 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 Vietnamese lunar calendar
Best place to celebrate: Hanoi
2. Hoi An Lantern Festival
Hoi An lantern festival is one of the most famous festival in Vietnam, which attract a large number of tourists to the UNESCO-listed Hoi An. It is celebrated on the 14th day of each lunar month that every shop, restaurant, bar and house in Old Town turns off all electrical apparatus and lights candles and ornate lanterns. Thousands of lanterns and candles glowed warmly in the darkness, turning Hoi An Old Town into a spectacular place. Ceremonies at various temples are also free to visit. Don’t miss this festival if you are going to Hoi An.
Held on: The 14th day of every month
Best place to celebrate: Hoi An Old Town
3. Hue Festival
Hue festival takes place every two years in the former imperial capital of Hue to commemorate the colorful and outstanding heritage of the Nguyen Dynasty. During the one-week festival, there are impressive showcases, from theatre, art exhibitions and live music to film screenings, acrobatics and puppetry performances, as well as activities including boat racing, kite flying, human chess games and more. You may have the chance to enjoy a terrific cultural banquet in Hue City.
Held on: April/May/June, every two years
Best place to celebrate: Hue
4. Perfume Pagoda Festival
Perfume pagoda festival is the longest lasting festival in Vietnam, it officially begins on February 15 on the lunar calendar, but the peak in visitors lasts from the middle of January to the middle of March. Pilgrims from all over the country visit the shrine, and the pilgrimage began with a dragon dance of the Den Trinh Pagoda. Then thousands of pilgrims travel by boat across the Yen Vi Stream to the grotto of the Huong Tich Mountain to pray for a happy, and a prosperous year ahead.
Held on: The 15th day of the second month of the Vietnamese Lunar Calendar
Best place to celebrate: Perfume pagoda in Hanoi
5. Tet Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn Festival)
Tet Trung Thu, also known as the mid-autumn festival, falls on the lunar fifteenth of the eighth month every year. In Vietnam, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also a children's day in addition to family reunion, and the child is the protagonist of the festival. On this day, the adults will prepare various snacks and gifts for the children, and the children will spend the holidays together.
The children love to carry the lanterns getting around, eating moon cakes and watching the moon. As a celebration of children, the streets are normally filled with kids singing and taking part in lantern parades. Lanterns are lit during the night time which makes this festival worthier of visiting.
Held on: Mid-September
Best place to celebrate: Hoi An