Thursday, August 11, 2022

Festivals & Holidays in Vietnam

AsiaVietnamFestivals & Holidays in Vietnam

Read next

By far the most important festival is Tết – the Lunar New Year festival – which takes place between the end of January and March. In the period leading up to Tết, the country is in the midst of preparations. Motorcyclists rush to deliver potted mandarin trees and flowering shrubs, the traditional decorations of the house. People are a little stressed and elbows are getting sharper, especially in the big cities where the usual traffic becomes almost murderous. Then, a few days before Tết, the pace starts to slow down as thousands of city dwellers leave for their ancestral cities in the provinces. Finally, on the first day of the new year, there is a brutal transformation: the streets become silent, almost deserted. Almost all shops and restaurants close for three days (except for a few that mainly receive foreign visitors; hotels operate as usual).

In large cities, streets are decorated with lights and public festivals are held, attracting several thousand inhabitants. But for the Vietnamese, the Tết is above all a private and family celebration. On the eve of the new year, families come together and exchange good wishes (from the younger to the older) and gifts of “good luck money” (from the older to the younger). On the first three days of the year, the hours of the day are dedicated to visits: on the first day to relatives, on the second day to closest friends and important colleagues, and on the third day to everyone else. Many people also visit the pagodas. In the evening, people drink and play (men) or chat, play games, sing karaoke and enjoy traditional snacks and sweets (women and children).

Visiting Vietnam during the Tết has good and bad points. The negative points: Traffic is saturated just before the holidays as many Vietnamese travel to their hometowns; hotels are full, especially in small towns; and the choice of shops and restaurants is very limited in the first days of the New Year (some places are closed for up to two weeks). Pagodas are particularly active, museums and historical sites that remain open are free, and the foreign-oriented travel industry with backpacker buses and resort hotels is developing as usual. Visitors also have the chance to be invited to the celebrations, especially if you have local contacts or manage to make Vietnamese friends during your stay. If you are visiting Tết, it is advisable to settle somewhere at least two days before the New Year and not try to move for a few days.

Less important holidays are 1 May, the traditional Socialist Labour Day, 2 September, the Vietnamese National Day, King Hung’s Lunar Calendar Day on 10 March, which commemorates previous kings, and Reunification Day on 30 April, which commemorates the fall of Saigon in 1975. At this time, trains and planes are usually full and it is difficult to find accommodation on the beach or in Dalat. It is best to book well in advance.

Holidays in Vietnam

DateEnglish nameLocal nameComments
1 JanuaryThe New YearTết dương lịch
From the last day of the last lunar month to the 5th day of the first lunar monthTết (Vietnamese New Year)Tết Nguyên ĐánThe biggest holiday of the year, takes place towards the end of January – beginning of February.
10th day of the 3rd lunar monthCommemorations of the Hungarian KingsGiỗ tổ Hùng VươngNew public holiday since 2007, around April (decided by the government on 28 March 2007).
30 aprilDay of the Liberation of the South for National ReunificationNgày Giải phóng miền Nam, thống nhất đất nướcLiberation of Saigon and reunification of Vietnam 1975
1 MayInternational Workers’ DayNgày Quốc tế Lao động
2 SeptemberNational DayQuốc khánhVietnam declares independence and establishes the Democratic Republic of Vietnam

Other holidays in Vietnam

DateEnglish nameLocal name
3 FebruaryAnniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of VietnamNgày thành lập Đảng
8 MarchInternational Women’s DayQuốc tế Phụ nữ
21 aprilVietnam Book DayNgày sách Việt Nam
7 MayDien Bien Phu Victory DayNgày Chiến thắng Điện Biện Phủ
19 MayThe birthday of President Ho Chi MinhNgày sinh Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh
1 JuneInternational Day of the ChildNgày quốc tế thiếu nhi
28 JuneVietnamese Family DayNgày gia đình Việt Nam
27 JulyMemorial Day (Day of Martyrs and Wounded Soldiers) or (Day of War Invalids and Vietnamese Martyrs)Ngày thương binh liệt sĩ
19 AugustDay of Commemoration of the August RevolutionNgày cách mạng tháng 8
10 OctoberCapital Liberation DayNgày giải phóng thủ đô
20 OctoberVietnamese Women’s DayNgày phụ nữ Việt Nam
20 NovemberVietnamese Teachers’ DayNgày Nhà giáo Việt Nam
22 DecemberNational Defence Day (anniversary of the founding of the People’s Army of Vietnam)Ngày hội quốc phòng toàn dân (ngày thành lập Quân đội nhân dân Việt Nam)
5/1 (moon-shaped)Victory of Ngọc Hồi-Đống ĐaChiến thắng Ngọc Hồi – Đống Đa
15/1 (lunar)Lantern festival (full moon of the 1st month)Tết Nguyên Tiêu (Rằm tháng giêng)
15/4 (moon-shaped)Buddha’s birthdayLễ Phật đản
5/5 (lunar)Semi-annual festivalTết Đoan ngọ
15/7 (moon-shaped)Ghost FestivalRằm tháng bảy, Vu Lan
15/8 (lunar)Mid-Autumn FestivalTết Trung thu
23/12 (lunar)Caregiver in the kitchenÔng Táo chầu trời

How To Travel To Vietnam

By plane Vietnam's main international airports are located in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Both airports are served by numerous flights from major cities in East and Southeast Asia, with some intercontinental connections to Australia, Europe and the United States. Other international airports are located in Da Nang, Vinh, Nha...

How To Travel Around Vietnam

By plane Flights are the fastest way to cross this long country. The flight from Hanoi to HCMC takes only about 2 hours. Numerous flights connect the two largest cities, Hanoi and HCMC, with major cities such as Da Nang, Hai Phong, Can Tho, Hue, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Phu Quoc....

Visa & Passport Requirements for Vietnam

Visitors from the following countries do not need a visa and can stay for the following number of days. 14 days: Brunei, Myanmar15 days: Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Russia (from 1 July 2015)21 days: Philippines30 days: Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore,...

Destinations in Vietnam

Regions in Vietnam North VietnamIt offers some of the most beautiful views of Vietnam as well as the capital and the opportunity to visit the indigenous peoples of the hills.Central CoastThe ancient city of Hue is home to Vietnam's fledgling kings and Hoi An is home to one of Vietnam's...

Weather & Climate in Vietnam

Because of the different latitudes and the great variety of topographical relief, the climate varies greatly from place to place. During winter time or dry season, between November and April, the Monsoon winds commonly blow from the north-east alongside the Chinese coast and over the Gulf of Tonkin, absorbing...

Accommodation & Hotels in Vietnam

Accommodation is not a problem in Vietnam, even if you are travelling on a tight budget. Accommodation in Vietnam ranges from dormitory accommodation for $6 a night in youth hostels to world-class resorts in both major cities and popular coastal and rural destinations. Even hostels and cheap hotels are...

Things To See in Vietnam

Vietnam will show you the sides of Asia you've been dreaming of. Lush rice paddies at the foot of the magnificent highlands, colourful water markets along the rivers of the Mekong Delta and the endless city life of Hanoi, where everything from schoolchildren to refrigerators to huge stacks of...

Things to do in Vietnam

Motorcycling is popular with locals and tourists alike. As motorcycling is the main mode of transport in Vietnam, it can give a particularly authentic impression of travelling in the country. Renting or buying a bike is possible in many towns. Also consider motorbike adventure tours, which take you on multi-day...

Food & Drinks in Vietnam

Food in Vietnam Food is at the heart of Vietnamese culture: every important holiday in the Vietnamese cultural calendar, every important stage in the life of a Vietnamese person, even most important daily events and social interactions - food plays a central role in each of them. Special dishes are...

Money & Shopping in Vietnam

Currency in Vietnam The local currency is the dong (đồng, VND), which is difficult to find or exchange outside Vietnam. Exchange money on arrival and try to get rid of leftovers before leaving the country. Inflation continues and a series of devaluations continue to lower the value of the dong,...

Traditions & Customs in Vietnam

In traditional Vietnamese culture, elders are treated with great deference and respect. Although expectations are more relaxed when dealing with strangers, it is a good idea to be polite, respectful and reserved towards those who look older than you. In some regions, it is common for residents to fortify it,...

Internet & Communications in Vietnam

Phone in Vietnam Landline numbers in Hanoi and HCMC have an eight-digit sequence, others have seven digits. Vietnam International dialling code: +84Hanoi area code: (4)Area code for Ho Chi Minh City: (8) VoIP calls Telephone bills are 30 to 40% cheaper when dialled using services 171 or 178. National call: 171 (178) + 0...

Language & Phrasebook in Vietnam

The official language in Vietnam is Vietnamese. Like Thai and most Chinese dialects, Vietnamese is a tonal language that uses a change of tone to inflect different meanings, which can make it difficult for Westerners to master. Although very different from Western languages, a traveller may be surprised to...

Culture Of Vietnam

Vietnamese culture has developed over the centuries from the ancient indigenous culture of Đông Sơn with wet rice cultivation as its economic basis. Some elements of the national culture have Chinese origins and draw on elements of Confucianism and Taoism in their traditional political system and philosophy. Vietnamese society...

History Of Vietnam

Prehistory and ancient history Archaeological excavations have proven the existence of humans in what is now Vietnam as early as the Palaeolithic Age. Fossils of Homo erectus from around 500,000 BC have been found in caves in Lạng Sơn and Nghệ, a province in northern Vietnam. The oldest Homo sapiens...

Stay safe & healthy in Vietnam

Stay safe in Vietnam WARNING!Vietnam treats drug offences with extreme severity. The death penalty is mandatory for those convicted of trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than 15 g of heroin, 30 g of morphine, 30 g of cocaine, 500 g of cannabis, 200 g of cannabis resin and 1.2...

Asia

Africa

South America

Europe

North America

Most Popular