Festivals and public holidays in Vietnam boast national heritage, music and dance performances, and dynamic activities. On these days, Vietnamese people usually have a day off from work and school, and many choose to visit home or go on vacation.
Join in the fun, and you’ll have a deeper insight into Vietnamese culture. Let’s explore the important festivals and public holidays in Vietnam in this travel guide!
Holidays in Vietnam
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|January 20 – 26||Vietnamese New Year (Tet)|
|April 29||Hung Kings Commemorations|
|April 30||Reunification Day|
|May 1||International Workers’ Day|
|September 2||National Day|
New Year Holiday
New Year Holiday falls on the first of January and marks the start of a new year. In Vietnam, everyone has a day off to ring out the old year and welcome the new.
In addition to outdoor activities, there are special programs broadcast on TV that you can watch at home.
Lunar New Year (Tet Holiday)
Lunar New Year, or Tet Holiday, is the most important festival and holiday in Vietnam.
At this time, the streets are covered with vibrant flowers like peach or apricot blossoms, kumquat trees, and daisy flowers.
All workers and students have a week off to celebrate the festival. It is an occasion for family unions where people return to their families after a long working year.
On this special holiday, people will prepare by cleaning their houses, buying decorations, and going shopping.
Also, many unique customs are practiced, like visiting relatives, ancestral worship, and giving lucky money to children and the elderly. You can check out some delicious Tet dishes here.
During Tet, Vietnamese people tend to visit pagodas and temples to pray for a peaceful upcoming year. Some people also receive parallel sentences from the Master (ông Đồ), which is believed to bring luck to their home and children.
Hung Kings Commemoration Day
One of the national public holidays is Hung Kings Commemoration Day which takes place on the 10th day of the third lunar March. The day honors Hung Kings who ruled Vietnam as the first kings.
The Hung Kings Festival is celebrated in all the Hung Temples across the country.
For the most significant one, get to the Hung Temple in Viet Tri City, Phu Tho province, where you’ll behold plenty of lanterns flying into the sky the day before the festival. Besides, modern flags are hung along the road from Viet Tri to Hung Mountain.
There’s also a commemorative activity for Hung Kings Day, which takes place at the foot of Nghia Linh Mountain.
Hundreds of people go on a pilgrimage up the mountain, offering incense to their ancestors and praying. They usually stop off at various temples before reaching the Hung Temple at the peak.
Reunification Day is a public holiday celebrated on April 30th every year. Before this event, streets across the country are decorated with neon lights, red flags, and colorful banners.
There are also memorial programs or music shows performing victorious songs about the Vietnam War.
Many people choose the time off to visit with their beloved family or go on holiday.
Labor Day on May 1st is to commemorate the international workers’ movement of the 1800s. Vietnam also honors this day after Reunification Day.
Due to big holidays occurring at the same time, workers and students often enjoy 2-4 days.
Mid-autumn Festival, or Tet Trung Thu, is a joyful occasion for children and adults to enjoy dishes like moon cakes, jellies, and biscuits.
On Hang Ma Street in Hanoi or the riverside of Hoi An ancient town, you will see bustling streets with performances and music. In every corner, there are mooncakes, lanterns, and colorful masks. Also, this time is for Vietnamese families to worship the God of Earth and make offerings to their ancestors.
National Day has a significant meaning for all Vietnamese people. It is the historical event that marks the freedom of Vietnam.
This annual celebration commemorates that historic moment with patriotic displays, flags, banners, and flowers across the country. Big cities like Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh also hold parades and light fireworks at night.