Vietnam Events

Vietnam events and Vietnam festivals are a major part of the lives of the people and the history of the country, and they occur at different times during the year. Some are celebrated throughout the country, and others are found on a regional level. You will find that Vietnam festivals can be very culturally enriching, if your vacation is during a time one is taking place. There are also some other considerations, especially if you decide on the time during the Vietnamese New Year. This is the most important of all events in Vietnam and is the time that virtually everyone in the country is traveling to visit family or on pilgrimages to temples, pagodas, and other sacred places.

New Year (or Tet) festivals in Vietnam coincide with the lunar calendar that many countries in Asia use. Thus, it does not always fall on the same Western calendar date each year. Generally, it occurs sometime from January through early February. This is one of the Vietnam events that is a national holiday. Officially, the holiday lasts three days, but most of the country is busily preparing and celebrating for weeks before and for at least a week after. Also celebrated around this time is the anniversary of the founding of the country’s Communist Party by the revered leader Ho Chi Minh in Hong Kong on February 3.

Many of the rural events in Vietnam are centered around agriculture and dedicated to deities that represent the forces of nature. Most of them have their roots in small villages and are to remember a period of abundance or failure of crops, rain, and good fortune. One of these Vietnam festivals that has become a national event is the Lim Festival, named for the little village about seven miles to the northeast of Hanoi. This occurs on the thirteenth day of the first lunar month—generally in February. Thousands come to the village to be regaled with the traditional Quan Ho folk song performances. These are the songs sung by farmers (both male and female) as they do their work in the tea plantations of the hills or as they pole their fishing boats along the rivulets of the Red River Delta. Even women at home, weaving the tapestry and spinning the wool to make souvenirs you can buy while shopping as they sing these songs. Many little villages will have games and exhibitions that resemble the traditional events of state fairs in the United States.

Another of the colorful Vietnam events occurs in the Mekong Delta region, and is centered around one of the country’s famous mountains—Nui Ba Den Mountain. This also occurs in February; thousands make a pilgrimage to the mountain to honor the woman for whom it was named. This peak also played a prominent role in the American Vietnam War, so many returning United States veterans come here. However, there is little tourist infrastructure here. You certainly will not find luxury hotels, but look for little guesthouses and hostels.

Other holidays and events in Vietnam include regular government holidays. All government offices are closed on Sundays, as well as January 1, April 30 (Saigon Liberation Day), May 1 (Labor Day), September 2 (National Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam), and three or four days during Tet. Celebrations (although shops may still be open) also occur on May 19 (birthday of Ho Chi Minh).

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