Vietnam Festivals and Events
In Vietnam tradition there lies a wide range of colorful festivals and events, with the aim of as simple as entertaining the community or as meaningful as expressing respect to country's builders and heroes as well as commemorating remarkable events. The festivals and events listed below may take place on a nation scale or belong to specific regions. There are two main types of activities conducted in Vietnam's festivals: ceremonial rites and entertaining activities.
Tet - shortened form of Tet Nguyen Dan (also known as Vietnamese Lunar New Year or Vietnamese New Year or Tet Holiday) is one of the most important and biggest festivals in Vietnam. Following the Vietnamese lunar calendar, this special holiday - Tet starts at the beginning of a new year. On the Gregorian calendar, this holiday usually has the date falling between January 21st and February 19th.
Mid-Autumn (Trung Thu) is the day when the moon is at its brightest in a year. In that spirit, to worship the Moon Genie, there comes the celebration of Mid-Autumn's Festival. According to legends, this holiday is originated from a Chinese story in which an Emperor of Duong (Tang) Dynasty, Duong Minh Hoang, was taken to the moon by a wizard named La Cong Vien.
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.
The spring festival of Bai Dinh Pagoda takes place since the first day of New Year, officially starts on the 6th day and lasts till the end of the third lunar month. The festival is the perfect start for pilgrimages towards the imperial capital Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh province.
Together with Bai Dinh and Yen Tu Pagoda Festival, Huong Pagoda Festival is among the greatest Buddhist festival in northern part of Vietnam. Huong Pagoda Festival plays an important role in the spiritual life of Vietnamese people in general and Vietnamese Buddhists in particular.
Giong Festival is annually celebrated in spring time at several parts of Hanoi in order to commemorate Saint Giong, one of the four immortals of Vietnam. He is a great hero in Vietnam's mythology, with his splendid merit in defending the country against foreign enemies.
Among the very old days of the country, under the government of King An Duong Vuong (Thuc Phan), Vietnam was called Au Lac. The King decided to build Co Loa (located at Dong Anh District, Hanoi at present time) as the country's royal palace.
The unique festival of Tro Tram which is both sacred and filled with national culture takes place annually at Tu Xa commune, Lam Thao district, Phu Tho province. Aiming at promoting human's vitality, the festival closely related to "no nuong"-reproductive organs.
About twenty kilometers away from Hanoi, Lim Village of Bac Ninh province is the "hometown" of Quan Ho folk songs, one of Vietnam's intangible cultural heritages. In order to enhance and promote the tradition of Quan Ho singing, Lim Festival is eagerly celebrated among local residents as well as pilgrims from every part of the country around the 12th or the 13th day of the first Lunar month.
The traditional festival Cau Ngu is unique and imbrued with the cultural identity of coastal community. The fishermen here consider whale, a giant yet nice creature, as the companion of seafarers in their voyages, on the vast ocean full of danger. To these people's mind, whale is not just a normal kind of mammal, but Sir Nam Hai-they are sanctified.
About ten kilometers away from Tay Ninh town, in the middle of Mekong Delta is Ba Mountain (Nui Ba)-also known as Ms. Den Mountain (Nui Ba Den). As mentioned in folklore, the mountain was named after Denh, often mistaken as Den (meaning 'black'), the daughter of a local official.
Every year, on the first Dragon Day after the first full moon, Giay ethnic group at Ta Van Commune, Sapa District, Lao Cai Province hold Roong Pooc festival in order to show people's gratitude towards their guardians. After many years of celebration, the festival has spread among Muong Hoa Valley and become a common festival of the region.
Buffalo Sacrifice Festival is an annual festival taking place in the Central Highland (Tay Nguyen) of Vietnam. Being held from the twelfth lunar month of the previous year to the third month of the next year, Buffalo Sacrifice Festival is the most prominent cultural activity among ethnic minority community in their dear wishes for a prosperous harvest and happy life.
Chu Dong Tu is one of the four immortals in traditional mythology of Vietnam, who is in charge of teaching people to do business, fishing and weaving in order to have a joyful and prosperous life.
Entering the warm spring when flowers start blooming and every creature seems to shake off its gloomy appearance in the previous winter, Vietnamese people celebrate the traditional festival of Thanh Minh-Holiday of the Dead. The festival is also known as Cold Food Festival (Tet Han Thuc) as people often eat cold dishes on this day.
To those who live in Tay Nguyen, Vietnam, elephant is their precious animal. In local people's daily life, this wild animal has become a close friend with humans as they help people in working, transporting, and traveling.
As Vietnamese people always show deep gratitude towards their origins and ancestors, every year, the Death anniversary of the Hung Kings-also known as Hung King Temple Festival-is celebrated on the tenth day of the third Lunar month.
From long ago, the fishermen of coastal areas have considered whales as a rare kind of mammal that do not harm anyone and instead lend a helping hand when people unfortunately meet storms on their voyages. In other words, whales are taken into account as a sacred creature as well as the savior for fishermen.
In the history of Vietnam, April 30th, 1975 is the day that marks the fall of Saigon government, ending the Vietnam War and leading to the liberation of Vietnam's southern part.
Together with more than 80 countries all over the world, the International Workers' Day, as known as International Labor Day or May Day in Vietnam, is a public holiday of the nation. It is celebrated on the first day of May, right after the Reunification Day; as a result, the two holidays are normally joined together into one break.
Le Mat is a small village at Viet Hung Ward, Long Bien District, about 7 kilometers away from Hanoi, which is famous for its tradition of catching snakes and making delicious food from them. To honor such a long standing profession, the village's festival transpires annually on the 23rd day of the third lunar month.
This special event is held annually, from the late evening of the third Lunar month's 26th day and lasts until the end of next day in Khau Vai Commune, Meo Vac District in the northern most province of Vietnam, Ha Giang.
Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival is hold annually from the 23rd day to 27th day of the fourth lunar month, in Ba Chua Xu Temple, Nui Sam (Sam Mountain) ward, Chau Doc commune, An Giang province.
The International Children's Day of Vietnam is one June 1st, and as suggested by its name, the festival is for children. As children are the future of mankind, the event sends adults a reminder about taking better care and protection towards their beloved kids.
To an agriculture country like Vietnam, Parasite-Killing Festival is a meaningful occasion, with the purpose of preventing pestilence and disease as well as enhancing the prevention of evils and illnesses.
Some people call it Vu Lan or Vietnamese Mother's Day, others call it Trung Nguyen as it is the day for lost souls to be in the search of mercy-the festival has it all. Under any disguises, this festival takes place on the 15th day of the seventh month in Lunar Calendar.
To any country, Independence Day is an important historical, political or cultural event associated with its current status. In most nations, this holiday originally leads to the birth of the country.
Buffalo fighting is a unique and traditional festival of people in Do Son District, Haiphong City. This festival is not only associated with Water Goddess worshiping and sacrificing custom but also expressed bravery, chivalry, and risk-taking spirit of people in the coastal city of Haiphong.
Located on Hung Dao Commune, Chi Linh District, Hai Duong province, Kiep Bac Temple is dedicated to Tran Quoc Tuan-Saint Tran, the transcendent general of Tran Dynasty who lead Vietnamese army towards victory in the war against Yuan-Mongolian aggressors in the 13th century.
The purpose of Cow Racing Festival is to celebrate the last day of the year-according to Khmer calendar. It is celebrated together with Sene Dolta, a festival similar to Vu Lan-an occasion for people to show respects towards their family members or friends who departed from life, from the 29th day of the 8th month to the 2nd day of the 9th month in Lunar calendar.
Situated on Duy Nhat Commune, Vu Thu District, Thai Binh Province, Keo Pagoda is one of the most unique and spectacular structure of Vietnam. With the custom of worshiping Buddhist priest Khong Lo-Ly Quoc Su, Keo Festival is held in two periods of time in the spring and in the autumn: on the fourth day of the first lunar month, and from the 13th to the 15th day of the ninth lunar month.
The noble festival of Cham ethnic minority group-Kate, also known as Mbang Kate-owns unique cultural features and is of great importance within the community.
Taking place annually in the tenth full moon in Vietnamese Lunar calendar, Ooc Om Boc (or Ok Om Bok) is one of the three biggest festivals among ethnic Khmer community-especially in Tra Vinh and Soc Trang province where is the typical habitat of Khmer people.
Annually, within one week of a particular month in the year, at Halong Bay-northern part of Quang Ninh province, Halong Tourism Week is organized. The event is a valuable chance for foreigner customers to grasp the unique beauty of Halong, and its spotlight is Halong Carnaval.
Hue Festival is a biennial cultural event celebrated in even years in order to honor Hue's cultural heritages as well as Vietnam's national identity towards people from all over the world. With a quite long history since 1992, each time of celebration is distinctive festive theme, which never fails to draw attractions from millions of visitors.
Located on Han River, Danang is a beautiful and poetic destination in the central part of Vietnam. Since the year of 2008, the city's International Fireworks Competition is held annually on April 29th and 30th.