has an unique culture that has undergone over the millennia. This leads to numerous special festivals where it shows belief and tradition of Vietnamese people clearly. Apart from admiring breathtaking natural landscapes, it is also worth enjoying some of the festivals in Vietnam to get a better understanding of this peaceful country.
would like to bring you a list of festivals and events in Vietnam, so you can make a plan for your trip easily.
NEW YEAR DAY
The night of 31 Dec and 1 Jan every year
Place: Whole Vietnam, best places to enjoy are big cities.
Most of the festivals, anniversaries and traditional cultural events of Vietnam are in accordance with its lunar calendar; however, nowadays, Christian calendar is widely used throughout the country. Annually, on the first day in this Western Calendar - January 1st, joining in the modern breathes of the world, Vietnam also celebrates the International New Year Day. It’s a public holiday in Vietnam
The International New Year Day brings people a good opportunity to go out, meet others and participate on exciting trips as well. Also on the holiday, related special programs would be broadcasted on local as well as national channels, and countdown parties would be taken place at places like Opera House or major avenues.
Time: 1 – 2 weeks around the first day of Lunar Year (late January – early February)
Place: Whole Vietnam, best places to enjoy are big cities.
Tet, or Lunar New Year, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture and a major holiday across the country. Although the New Year date is February 12, the days leading up to Tet as well as the days following it are considered national holidays. Vietnamese prepare for Tet by cooking specific New Year foods, cleaning out their homes, buying new clothing, and paying respects to their ancestors. Flowering trees are placed outside every home and office, and a feeling of excitement and cheer envelops the entire country. On the very first day of Tet, children will receive a red envelope containing lucky money from elders.
People from all over the country will return to their hometowns for the Tet holiday, creating heavy demand for bus, train and plane tickets, as well as hotel rooms. With many staffs gone home to their families, businesses and restaurants typically shut for at least the first few days of Tet. Expect cities to be quiet during this time, as well as limited dining and shopping options. We highly recommend you book your holiday in advance if you travel in this period.
DONG DA HILL FESTIVAL
Time: the 5th of the Lunar New Year (February)
Place: Dong Da District, Hanoi
Dong Da Festival takes place annually on the 5th of the Lunar New Year, in memory of the great merit rendered by King Quang Trung - the national hero in history of anti - invaders.
Two centuries ago, Dong Da was a battlefield where Quang Trung (Nguyen Hue), a Tay Son farmer who later became a National Hero defeated more than 200,000 soldiers of the Qing invaders. Dong Da Hill became a glorious historical site of the Vietnamese nation. Ever since, on the 5th of the first lunar month, Hanoi people hold a festival to celebrate this historic victory. The procession includes flags, a processional parasol, palanquins with a variety of colours, and the sounds of gongs and drums. The whole procession participants walk and sometimes dance to the rhythmic accompaniment of castanets. A group of young people, dressed in martial suit, then go around and perform a play that recounts the whole period of the war.
YEN TU FESTIVAL
Time: the 9th of the first Lunar month to the end of the 3rd Lunar month ( February – early May)
Place: Yen Tu Pagoda, Quang Ninh Province
The Yen Tu Festival sees Vietnam’s Zen Buddhist community converge in a spectacular pilgrimage to the Dong Pagoda in the Yen Tu mountains of Quang Ninh Province. In the 13th century, Vietnam’s King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong invested heavily in the complex and founded the first Vietnamese school of Zen Buddhism, which now contains 11 pagodas and countless shrines. Solemn processions, prayers, and rites are part of the yearly festival at Yen Tu, which lasts for three months in total, from the first day of the lunar calendar until the end of the third month.
HUONG PAGODA FESTIVAL
Time: the 1st lunar month to the 3rd lunar month (February to April)
Place: Huong Pagoda, My Duc, Hanoi.
Huong Pagoda Festival is among the greatest Buddhist festival in northern part of Vietnam. Huong Pagoda Festival is also divided into two parts: The ceremonies and the entertaining activities. Ceremonial rituals consist of incense offering procession and Zen ceremony in which Monks and Buddhists offer incense, flowers, candles and fruits. During the ceremony, there are two monks performing beautiful and flexible dances. On the other hand, entertaining activities include enjoying boat cruise along Yen Stream for watching picturesque scenery, climbing mountain and exploring holy caves. It is believed that climbing up the top of Huong Tich Mountain will bring you fulfillment and great success in life.
BAI DINH PAGODA FESTIVAL
Time: the 6th day of the 1st Lunar month
Place: Bai Dinh Pagoda, Ninh Binh Province
The festival 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. This makes the festival more solemn. On the first day of the festival, local people from young to old carry out 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.
Time: 12th-13th day of 1st lunar month (February)
Place: Lim Village, Bac Ninh Province
Held in Lim Village 18km from Hanoi, this festival originally celebrated Ba Mu, who led her life as a Buddhist nun at Lim pagoda. The festival is held on Ba Mu’s day of enlightenment and is famous for showcasing the locals’ unique vocal stylings through Quan Ho folk songs. The best singers from two villages are chosen to compete in singing dialogues, which take place in beautiful natural settings. Thousands of visitors journey to Lim Village in Bac Ninh province to listen to renowned “lien anh” and “lien chi” (male and female Quan Ho singers) performances. The festival also features competitions of weaving and wrestling, as well as processions and worship ceremonies.
Time: the 19th day of the 2nd Lunar month (around March – April)
The Avalokitesvara Festival in Da Nang is an opportunity for interested travellers and Buddhists to come together to honour the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Held at Quan The Am pagoda near Marble Mountains, the schedule of activities will include prayer ceremonies, flower releasing, boat racing, as well as tea, photography and painting exhibits.
TAY PHUONG PAGODA FESTIVAL
17 Apr 2021 - 17 Apr 2021
Just 20 kilometres outside Hanoi, Tay Phuong Pagoda has sheltered ancient Buddha statues for centuries. During this annual festival, locals celebrate by washing the statues, offering incense, and playing games together. Visitors can join tug-of-war and human chess, enjoy puppet performances and observe traditional ceremonies. Transport to Tay Phuong is available from tour operators in Hanoi.
DEATH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HUNG KINGS
Time: the 8th to the 11th day of the third lunar month
Place: Phu Thu Province
Every year, a large number of visitors from all over the country participate in a national festival – Hung King Temple Festival – an incense offering ceremony in honor of Hung Kings, who were instrumental in the founding of the nation. The main festival day is on the 10th day of the third lunar March, on which the National Assembly has approved Vietnamese working people to annually have one more national holiday to mark the anniversary of the Hung King’s death.
Time: Every two years in April, May or June
Place: Hue, Thua Thien-Hue Province
Hue Festival is held in April, May or June every two years. It takes place at 40 venues around the city. Some of the unique events held include, the Hue Poetry Festival, Dialogue of Drums and Percussion and Ao Dai fashion shows. You can also enjoy sporting activities like kite flying, boat racing, and human chess. As Hue was the capital of Vietnam during the 19th century, the festival also hosts re-enactments of royal ceremonies, such as King Nguyen Hue’s enthronement and doctorial examinations. Street performances, film screenings, and art exhibitions are held throughout the festival week as well. Offering visitors a look into the city’s rich culture and heritage, Hue Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Vietnam.
Time: April 30th
In the history of Vietnam, April 30th, 1975 is the day that marks the ending the Vietnam War and leading to the liberation of Vietnam's southern part. Every year since, the country celebrates this day as a commemoration to the reunification between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the North and the Republic of Vietnam in the South into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as we know today. Over a week prior to April 30th, streets in big cities like Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City are eye-catchingly decorated with colorful banners, flags and neon lights. Also, celebration areas are prepared—it could be a place for parade, or the stage for a national live show.
Also, the next day is International Labor Day ( May 1st), it becomes one of the biggest public holiday in the country. If you have any plan to travel in this period, we highly recommend you book your holiday in advance.
Time: 15th day of the 8th lunar month (around September)
Place: all Vietnam, best place: Hoian
Tet Trung Thu, as it is known in Vietnamese, or the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam as we refer to in foreign countries, is a wonderful, ancient festival that revolves around children.
Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam takes place on the full moon night (15th of the Lunar August), the most charming and picturesque night of the year. The festival involves the customs of moon contemplating, procession of star & moon – shaped lanterns, lion dance, as well as holding parties with moon cakes and fruits.
CHRISTMAS IN VIETNAM
Time: 24th & 25th day December every year
Place: best place to enjoy: Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City
Although a predominantly Buddhist country, Christmas in Vietnam is still one of the four main annual religious festivals including the Lunar New Year, the mid-autumn festival, Buddha’s birthday. In big cities, Christmas in Vietnam is a huge event and Christmas Eve, which is regarded as more important than Christmas Day in Vietnam, is a grand party when the fun-loving and sociable Vietnamese, whether being a Christian or not, celebrate with gusto.