Festivals in Vietnam

Influenced by the rich culture of the various ethnic groups, Vietnam has a wide range of events such as festivals, traditional cultural events and anniversaries.

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Festivals in Vietnam

Influenced by the rich culture of the various ethnic groups, Vietnam has a wide range of events such as festivals, traditional cultural events and anniversaries. For most of the events, the exact data is not known and differs every year. The main reason is because most of their events are in accordance with its lunar calendar, a calendar mostly based on the Chinese calendar. No worries, Vietnam uses the Gregorian calendar since 1954, the lunar calendar is mostly used to observe holidays and commemorations.

It has been estimated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism that every year 8,300 traditional festivals are held across the country. If you want to know which are the most important festivals Vietnam, take a look at our list of events.

Overview of festivals in Vietnam

Tet (The Lunar New Year Festival) - Late January or early February

The biggest and the most sacred in Vietnamese traditional festivals. Tet is celebrated throughout the country for 3 days and its main purpose is to thank Gods for the arrival of spring. Tet is also a time for visits from family and friends, share gifts and do social activities.

Thrung Thu Festival - Beginning of September

This is a wonderful and ancient festival that revolves around children. In the past, parents were busy with farming and when harvest season was done, they used this festival as a special day to spend time with their kids. Festivities include children walking on the streets with differently shaped lanterns and traditional dance performances.

Chol Chnam Thmay Festival - 13th or 14th of April

Chol Chnam Thmay is the New Year celebration of the Khmer people. During this holiday, people prepare new clothes, food, and drinks for whole festival days. They also repair, clean and decorate their house. For the night of eve, every family has to prepare a lavish meal, burn candles and pray for health and luck in the New Year.

Khau Vai Love Festival - 26th and 27th of May

This festival sounds rather unusual to most Westerners, but when visiting Khau Vai, make sure to get to know the history behind it! During these two days, hundreds of ex-lovers from various hill tribes spend time with the ones they could not spend their lives with.

Lim Festival - January or February

Lim Festival is among the most impressive festivals, ceremonies and singing events in Vietnam. Visitors from everywhere come to
enjoy the festival and see the performances of singers. These singers are normal farmers of the village and others in daily life, but surprisingly they turn out to be the nation's most skilled artists during this event.

Overview of festivals in Vietnam

Hung Temple Festival - 9th to the 11th of April

This traditional festival honors he first King of Vietnam - King Hung. The festival is featured with many folk games such as “danh du” (bamboo swings), “nem con” (game of throwing a sacred ball through the ring), rice cooking competitions, lion dance, human chess, water puppet performance, wrestling, crossbow shooting etc.

Chu Dong Tu Festival - 10th to the 12th of April

Chu Dong Tu is one of the four immortals in the 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. Activities during the festival include human chess playing, dragon dancing, wrestling and processions on land and water.

Huong Pagoda (Perfume Pagoda) Festival - March

Huong Pagoda Festival plays an important role in the spiritual life of Vietnamese people and lasts for three months. As other festivals in Vietnam, Huong Pagoda Festival is also divided into two parts: the ceremonies and the entertaining activities. During this event, tourists have the chance to taste three famous delicacies which are bamboo shoot, Sang vegetables and grinding roots.

Elephant Race Festival - third Lunar month

To express the bond between human beings and this friendly creature, Vietnamese people are organizing this special event annually. On this day, elephants from several villages gather at Don Village and run at the same time for about one or two kilometers. The first elephant which reaches the appointed destination will receive sugar canes and bananas from surrounding people.

Whale Festival - April

The Whale Festival has been, for centuries, the biggest water festival of the fishermen in Quang Nam, Danang province. The worshipping of the whale is not only about paying respect to their God, but also about ensuring prosperity for the villagers.
On this occasion, the Whale Temple, as well as all the houses and boats, are beautifully decorated.

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We had a wonderful foodtour with Elise. We ate things we would never had ordered at places we would never had gone to without Elise, but everything tasted great. Elise is very nice, very kind and tells a lot about the food, the restaurants, and everything you want to know. We would recommend her to everyone who wants to do the foodtour. She also helped us with booking a boot tour in the Mekong Delta (our next stop in Vietnam). Thanks Elise, for everything!! Frank, Desirée, Bram, Maud and Tij

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Wow, what can I say. Thien was just fabulous and great fun - we can’t recommend her highly enough! The tour with her to the Mekong Delta was the highlight of our stay in Vietnam. Thien was very organized, knowledgeable and shared her own personal experiences of the region. Thien clearly had a great relationship with locals and the lunch stop was probably the best local food we had experienced served by a lovely lady in a beautiful location.

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