What Festivals Are Celebrated in Vietnam

Last Updated on 23 May, 2024 by admin

Vietnam, a land known for its rich history and cultural diversity, celebrates numerous festivals throughout the year. These festivals, deeply embedded in Vietnamese society, reflect the country’s traditions, beliefs, and communal values. They offer a unique insight into the life and spirit of the Vietnamese people, showcasing their reverence for ancestors, nature, and communal harmony. This article explores some of the most significant festivals celebrated in Vietnam, providing a glimpse into the vibrant cultural fabric that defines this Southeast Asian nation.

Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year)

Tet Nguyen Dan, commonly known as Tet, is the most significant and widely celebrated festival in Vietnam. Marking the arrival of spring and the beginning of the Lunar New Year, Tet is a time for family reunions, paying respects to ancestors, and expressing hope for the year ahead. Preparations for Tet begin weeks in advance, with homes being cleaned and decorated, and special foods such as banh chung (square sticky rice cake) being prepared. During Tet, families gather to enjoy festive meals, visit temples to pray for prosperity, and offer incense at ancestral altars. The festival also features various traditional customs such as giving lucky money to children and elderly, and lion dances. Tet is not only a time of joy and celebration but also a profound expression of Vietnamese cultural values and familial bonds.

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival, known in Vietnamese as Tet Trung Thu, is a joyous occasion celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Originally a harvest festival, it has evolved into a children’s festival marked by mooncakes, lantern processions, and lion dances. Families gather to enjoy the full moon, and children parade through the streets with colourful lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere. Mooncakes, with their rich fillings and intricate designs, are a central part of the celebrations, symbolising unity and completeness. The Mid-Autumn Festival is not only a time for feasting and fun but also an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the moon and the importance of family togetherness.

Hung Kings’ Temple Festival

The Hung Kings’ Temple Festival is a national celebration held annually to honour the legendary founders of Vietnam, the Hung Kings. Taking place at the Hung Temple in Phu Tho Province, the festival features grand processions, incense offerings, and traditional performances. Pilgrims from across the country come to pay their respects and participate in rituals that date back thousands of years. The festival serves as a powerful reminder of Vietnam’s historical roots and the enduring legacy of its founding fathers. It fosters a sense of national pride and unity, reminding the Vietnamese people of their shared heritage and the importance of preserving their cultural traditions.

Hue Festival

The Hue Festival is a biennial cultural event held in the historic city of Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. This festival celebrates the rich heritage of Hue through a variety of cultural activities including traditional music and dance performances, exhibitions, and street parades. Key events such as the Nam Giao Offering Ritual and the Royal Night re-enactments bring the imperial history of Vietnam to life. The Hue Festival is a significant event for preserving and promoting Vietnamese culture and arts, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world to experience the grandeur of Vietnam’s royal past.

Hue’s Heritage

Perfume Pagoda Festival

The Perfume Pagoda Festival is one of the largest and most important Buddhist festivals in Vietnam, held annually from the 6th day of the first lunar month until the end of the third lunar month. Pilgrims travel to the Perfume Pagoda, a vast complex of Buddhist temples and shrines built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains. The pilgrimage involves a scenic boat trip along the Yen Stream and a trek up the mountain. Upon reaching the pagoda, pilgrims participate in various religious rites and ceremonies, praying for health, prosperity, and happiness. The festival is a testament to the deep spiritual traditions and natural beauty of Vietnam.

Lim Festival

The Lim Festival, celebrated in Bac Ninh Province, is renowned for its traditional Quan Ho folk singing, a UNESCO-recognised intangible cultural heritage. Held annually on the 12th and 13th days of the first lunar month, the festival includes various cultural activities such as traditional games, processions, and performances. Quan Ho singing, characterised by its call-and-response style, is performed by male and female vocalists dressed in traditional costumes. The Lim Festival not only preserves this unique musical tradition but also strengthens community bonds and celebrates local culture and heritage.

Hoi An Lantern Festival

The Hoi An Lantern Festival is a monthly event that takes place on the 14th day of each lunar month in the ancient town of Hoi An. During the festival, the town is transformed into a magical wonderland with thousands of colourful lanterns lighting up the streets and the Thu Bon River. Traditional music, dance performances, and street food add to the festive atmosphere. Locals and tourists alike release lanterns into the river, making wishes for good luck and prosperity. The Hoi An Lantern Festival not only highlights the town’s historical charm but also plays a significant role in promoting tourism and preserving local traditions.

Hoi AN


Vietnam’s festivals are a vibrant reflection of its cultural heritage, showcasing the country’s deep-rooted traditions, communal values, and artistic expressions. From the grand celebrations of Tet Nguyen Dan to the enchanting Hoi An Lantern Festival, these festivals offer a glimpse into the heart and soul of Vietnam. They play a crucial role in preserving cultural identity, fostering community spirit, and attracting visitors from around the world. Through these celebrations, Vietnam continues to honour its past while embracing the future, ensuring that its rich cultural tapestry remains vibrant and alive for generations to come.

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