Vietnam National Holiday Calendar
Vietnamese holidays are a fantastic blend of ancient cultural traditions, historical commemorative observances and modern celebrations.
Public holidays and notable observances in Vietnam for 2021-2022 year
Sunday 8 May
- Mother’s Day
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Most popular Traditional Festivals in Vietnan
Festivals in Vietnam offer visitors the best opportunity for getting up close and personal with the myths, customs and fun-loving spirit of this proud nation.
- Hung King Temple Festival (Celebrated in Early April)
Hung King Temple Festival is held in commemoration of Kinh Duong Vuong, who became Vietnam’s first king in 2879BC and is consiedered the founder of the nation. It is celebrated at the Hung Temple on Nghia Linh Mountain in Phong Chau District, Phu Tho Province. People from all over the country and those living abroad head for the main temple on Nghia Linh to take part in this meaningful event. . The atmosphere of the festival is always bustling with many different folk games including human chess, bamboo swings, rice cooking competitions, “nem con”, wrestling, lion dance, etc. The highlight of the festival is the procession up to Den Thuong (Upper Temple) with participation of governmental leaders, villagers, pilgrims, xoan classical song performances, and many visitors.
- Khau Vai Love Market Festival ( held on lunar March 26th)
If lush rice terraces in Northern Vietnam attracts you to Vietnam, don’t miss out on Khau Vai Love Market Festival. Held in Ha Giang province – the land of spectacular mountains, it is the natural beauty of ethnic minorities groups. On the 26th and 27th of the 3rd lunar month annually, you will see a huge number of ethnic locals gathering in one of the most famous love markets called Khau Vai.
Existing for more than 100 years, the festival is an occasion for couples who used to love but cannot get married to come and meet each other again. Their partners will not be angry or jealous because they understand it is a temporary feeling and will not influence the normal life. For those who have not married yet, the festival gives them a chance to find their partner. Coming here, you will not only get a deeper understanding of Vietnamese ethnic minorities’s culture but also immerse yourself in the lovely melody from local youngsters and take part in many fun and exciting games that you have never seen before.
- Hue Festival (celebrated in April/May/June every two years)
Hue Festival is a relativly new and modern biannual celebration that is held in UNESCO-listed Hue City. Founded in 2000, the festival was created to preserve traditional customs that were practised during the Nguyen Dynasty. Here you can enjoy an array of cultural events, games, and performances held over a week. If you visit this colorful event, expect unique showcases such as the Hue Poetry Festival, Dialogue of Drums and Percussions, and Ao Dai Fashion Shows, sporting activities like kite flying, boat racing, and human chess, wrestling, as well as street performances, film screenings and art exhibitions.
- Mid-Autumn Festival (held in Mid-September)
Mid-Autumn Festival, also called “Children’s Festival” or “Tet Trung Thu”, is an annual event every Vietnamese child dreams about, because they are the focus of this joyful and colorful celebration. Held on the 14th and 15th day of the lunar month, the festival features a wide range of activities such as children carrying paper lanterns, lion dances, and food booths selling mooncakes, sticky rice, fruits, and various sweets. The streets are packed with people and their children. The atmosphere of this festival is very vibrant and bustling.
One of the best places to enjoy Mid-Autumn Festival is Hoi An, an UNESCO-listed Ancient Town, where you can see numerous street performances, lantern processions and arts exhibitions. Children participate in essays, drawing and colouring contests, while visitors can enjoy breathtaking sights of colorful paper lanterns lining the Thu Bon Riverside and Japanese Covered Bridge.
- Wandering Souls Day or Ghost Festival (held in Early September)
Wandering Souls Day is held 15th night of the 7th lunar month. It is observed by Buddhist population of Vietnam who believe that on this day spirits of their ancestors are able to visit their homes. On the eve of the festival, families flock to Buddhist temples and graves of their departed loved ones to offer prayers, flowers, sticky rice cakes, sugarcane, and fruits. Paper money and clothes are also burned during this time of the year. The festival is also known as the Cold Food Festival (Tet Han Thuc) as chilled dishes such as banh troi (floating rice cake) and banh chay (glutinous rice balls with mung bean paste) are typically eaten.
- Hoi An Lantern Festival (14th day of every month )
On the 14th day of every month the quaint UNESCO World Heritage Site Hoi An turns into a spectacular display of paper lanterns. Every shop, restaurant, bar and businesses in the city switches off all electricity and relies on hundreds of candles and lanterns. Held until late, the streets are also filled with musicians playing traditional instruments, Chinese chess, poetry readings, and lantern-making classes.
- Kate Festival (held on 1st day to 3rd day of the 7th month in the Cham calendar)
Vietnam has a considerable population of Cham people living in Southern Central Vietnam. To this community, Kate Festival is the most important festival. Several places hold this festival but the main one takes place at the 3 temple towers of Po Rome, Po Nagar, Po Klong Garai in Ninh Thuan Province. It aims at commemorating the Cham people’s heroes, their kings and ancestors. Besides, it is also a chance for this community to socialize, wish for good luck, visit family members and friends, and enjoy various cultural activities. If you are a culture lover, it would be a miss not to join this festival in Vietnam. It is truly a great opportunity to explore the beauty of Cham culture, admire unique architecture, get to know their customs and traditional songs.