Festivals in Vietnam

festival  
Many festivals in Vietnam are based on the Lunar Calendar so the dates vary each year. You will be able to find out the exact date of a festival in a particular year from one of the tourist offices or at your hotel.

February   |   March   |   April   |   May   |   June
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FEBRUARY
Tet (Lunar New Year Festival)
Nationwide
Beginning of February

This is the New Year celebration when family members reunite and bring offerings to the family altar in order to honour their ancestors. It also the most important festival in the Vietnamese calendar. On New Years Eve, at the stroke of midnight, are problems from the previous year are said to be left behind. This is also when the celebrations begin in earnest. Banks, offices and government builds will all close during Tet. Also many shops and restaurants may also close for 4 to 7 days.

Dinh Mai Festival
(North Vietnam)
Beginning of February

Takes place in Ha Tay province and is in memory of Ha Khoi who joined Dinh Bo Linh in quelling the rebellion of Do Canh Thao.

Thai Duong Village Festival
(Central Vietnam)
Early February

Takes place in Thuan An commune, Thua Thien Hue, and is dedicated to Spirit Thai Duong.

Cua Ong Temple Festival
(South Vietnam)
Early February

Held in Cua Ong Temple, Quang Ninh Province, in memory of Tran Quoc Tang, the third son of Tran Hung Dao, who defeated many enemies and brought peace to the region in the 13rd century.

Dong Da Festival
(North Vietnam)
Early February

Held in Dong Da District, Hanoi, to celebrate the Dong Da victory by which King Quang Trung defeated the Quing invading army, in 1789. The festival involves the procession of the "Fire Dragon".

Co Loa Festival
(North Vietnam)

Takes place every year at An Duong Vuong Temple, in Dong Anh District, on the outskirts of Hanoi. Co Loa commemorates Thuc Phan An Duong Vuong, to whom the 18th Hung King gave his throne. Twelve hamlets take part in a procession for the Spirits. The festival includes many games and competitions plus Tru and Cheo performances.

Perfume Pagoda Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid February to Early May

Also called Huong Pagoda Festival. Thousands of pilgrims and visitors come to admire the beautiful landscapes, grottoes, caves and pagodas in this mountainous area.

Eel catching Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid February

This festival is held during the Perfume Pagoda Festival.

Vieng Market
(North Vietnam)
Mid February

Held in Vu Ban and Nam Truc Districts, Nam Dinh Province. This spring market displays handicraft products and ornamental plants. All kinds of goods are bought and sold. People come to the market not only to buy products and wish for a prosperous and lucky year.

Trieu Khuc Village Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid February

The festival is organized every year to commemorate the Phung Hung and to glorify the weaving profession. This is a cultural activity in the traditional handicraft village of Trieu Khuc, Tan Trieu Commune, Thanh Tri District, Hanoi.

Sinh Village Wrestling Festival
(Central Vietnam)

Late February

Sinh is situated on the south bank of the Perfume River, in Huong Phu District, Thua Thien Hue Province. Thousands of young people from Hue and other districts come to take part in the wrestling competitions.

Cau Ngu Festival
(Central Vietnam)
Late February

Celebrated in Huong Hai Commune, Huong Dien District, Thua Thien Hue Province, to celebrate the memory of Truong Qui Cong.

Lim Festival (Quan Ho Folk Song Festival)
(North Vietnam)
Late February

Takes place in Noi Duc Commune, Tien Du District, Bac Ninh Province. The Lim Festival commemorates Hieu Trung Hau, the founder of Quan Ho. A procession, singing performances and many other games and competitions are held during this festival.

Va Temple Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late February

Takes place annually at Va Temple (Trung Hung Commune, Son Tay Town, Ha Tay Province), in honour of the Sprit of the village who is credited with having defeated the Flood Genius.

Con Son Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late February to Early March

Takes place twice a year at Con Son Pagoda, Chi Linh District, Hai Duong Province. The first celebration (on the 16th to 22th day of the 1st lunar month) is held in memory of the Buddhist monk Huyen Quang and the second one (on the 15th to the 20th day of the 8th lunar month) is held in memory of Nguyen Trai, a famous scholar from the 15th century.

Long Tong Festival (North Vietnam)
Late February to Early March

The festival of the ethnic groups living in the North around Cao Bang, Bac Kan and Lao Cai marks the beginning of the new harvest. The festival includes lion dances, Chinese chess, and ethnic songs.

Ba Den Mountain Spring Festival
(South Vietnam)
Late February to Early March

Takes place in Tay Ninh province, at the foot of Ba Den mountain at Ba Den temple. Very popular and celebration that takes place after the New Year's holiday.      Top of Page

MARCH
Perfume Pagoda Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid February to Early May

Also called Huong Pagoda Festival. Thousands of pilgrims and visitors come to admire the beautiful landscapes, grottoes, caves and pagodas in this mountainous area.

Con Son Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late February to Early March

Takes place twice a year at Con Son Pagoda, Chi Linh District, Hai Duong Province. The first celebration (on the 16th to 22th day of the 1st lunar month) is held in memory of the Buddhist monk Huyen Quang and the second one (on the 15th to the 20th day of the 8th lunar month) is held in memory of Nguyen Trai, a famous scholar from the 15th century.

Long Tong Festival (North Vietnam)
Late February to Early March

The festival of the ethnic groups living in the North around Cao Bang, Bac Kan and Lao Cai marks the beginning of the new harvest. The festival includes lion dances, Chinese chess, and ethnic songs.

Hon Chen Temple Festival
(Central Vietnam)
Mid March

Takes place twice a year: during the 2nd lunar month and the 7th lunar month in Hon Chen Temple, Ngoc Tran Mountain. It is celebrated in honour of Thien Yana who, according to Cham legend, created the land and the trees. This is a popular ceremony in Hue and attracts thousands of visitors and worshippers.

Dong Nhan Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid March

Organized annually in memory of two heroines, the Trung sisters, who instigated a rebellion against invaders in the first century B.C. in Dong Nhan Temple, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi.

Chu Dong Tu Temple Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late March

Takes place in Chu Dong Tu Temple in Da Hoa and Da Trach villages, 25 km from Hanoi. A dragon procession, martial arts competitions, lion dance, and cheo performances are held during the festival.

Duong Lam Temple Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late March

Organized in honour of King Phung Hung, a leader of the peasant revolt in the 3rd century. Duong Lam Village, located about 4 km from Son Tay Town, in Ha Tay Province.

Ba Den Mountain Spring Festival
(South Vietnam)
Late February to Early March

Takes place in Tay Ninh province, at the foot of Ba Den mountain at Ba Den temple. Very popular and celebration that takes place after the New Year's holiday.      Top of Page

APRIL
Perfume Pagoda Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid February to Early May

Also called Huong Pagoda Festival. Thousands of pilgrims and visitors come to admire the beautiful landscapes, grottoes, caves and pagodas in this mountainous area.

Elephant Race Festival
(Central Vietnam)
Mid April to Early May

Takes place in spring in Buon Don (Dac Lac). The racetrack is wide enough for 10 elephants and is 1 to 2 km long. It is the biggest cultural event of the Central Highlands.

Quan The Am Festival
(Central Vietnam)
Beginning of April

Quan The Am Pagoda stands at the foot of Kim Son Mountain, part or the Marble Mountain near Danang. Includes a religious ceremony consisting of flower offerings and prayers, plus cultural performances, folk songs, chess playing, music, painting, carving, lion dancing, and offering lamps on the river.

Ba Trieu Temple Festival
(North Vietnam)
Beginning of April

Organized in memory of Ba Trieu who raised a rebellion against Ngo invaders. The festival takes place at Ba Trieu Temple in Hau Loc, Thanh Hoa Province.

Phu Giay Temple Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid April

At Kim Thai Commune, Vu Ban District, in Nam Dinh Province. The main ceremonies are the Holy Mother procession and the display of Chinese characters. Other performances include cheo, hat trong quan, hat xam, hat van, a wrestling competition, cock fighting, and chess playing.

Thay Pagoda Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid April

Thay Pagoda, is devoted to the cult of Buddha Cakyamuni and of Tu Dao Hanh, a Buddhist monk who cured King Ly Than Ton of a serious illness and was later appointed by the King as Royal Teacher. He also created Vietnamese puppetry. During the festival many water puppet shows are held.

Lang Pagoda Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid April

Takes place annually to celebrate the memory of Tu Dao Hanh. The festivities include a grand procession and folk games held at Lang Pagoda in the Dong Da District of Hanoi.

Truong Yen Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid April

Held in Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh Province. This is an important event in attracting many participants. The festival commemorates King Dinh Tien Hoang, who reunited the country, and King Le Dai Hanh, who defeated foreign invaders. The three main events are offerings of joss-stick, a mock battle and an exhibition of Chinese characters.

Den Hung Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid April

Organized at Hung Kings Temple Nghia Linh Mount, Hy Cuong Commune, Phu Tho Province. The festival is regarded as a nationwide event with a representative of Vietnam's government and the People's Committee of Phu Tho Province taking part in the incense offering ceremony. There is a procession with traditional banh chung and banh day cakes, bronze drum beating, a sword dance, and Xoan folk song contest.

Do Temple Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late April

Held annually in Do Temple, in Tu Son District, Bac Ninh Province, in commemoration of the 8 Kings of the Ly Dynasty. It lasts four days and involves a procession, folk games, human chess contest, and wrestling competition.      Top of Page

MAY
Perfume Pagoda Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid February to Early May

Also called Huong Pagoda Festival. Thousands of pilgrims and visitors come to admire the beautiful landscapes, grottoes, caves and pagodas in this mountainous area.

Elephant Race Festival
(Central Vietnam)
Mid April to Early May

Takes place in spring in Buon Don (Dac Lac). The racetrack is wide enough for 10 elephants and is 1 to 2 km long. It is the biggest cultural event of the Central Highlands.

Po Nagar Temple Festival
(South Vietnam)
Early May

In Po Nagar Temple on a hill, located on the bank of the Cai river mouth, north of Nha Trang, to commemorate female goddess Po Nagar who gave the land and the rice to the local people. The festival is divided into two parts: the Thay Y (clothes changing ceremony), and the Cau Cung ceremony. The ceremonies are followed by a flower offerings dance, and traditional opera.

Dong Xam Festival
(North Vietnam)
Early May

Held at Dong Xam Temple, Dong Thai Commune, Kien Xuong District, Thai Binh Province in honour of Nguyen Kim Lau. The festivities include a boat race and cheo and ca tru performances.

Dau Pagoda Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid May

Held in Dau Pagoda to commemorate Man Muong who is credited with fighting a "drought" in Thuan Thanh District, Bac Ninh Province. It involves a procession and many folk games.

Giong Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid May

In Phu Dong village, Gia Lam District, Hanoi. Celebrated in memory of the mythical hero and his mother who defeated the An invaders. It involves a procession and a mock battle against the An Troops.      Top of Page

JUNE
Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival
(South Vietnam)
Early June

Takes place every year at Sam Mountain on road 10 from Long Xuyen to Chau Doc. The ceremony, also called Via Ba ceremony, attracts a great number of tourists.

Chem Temple Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late June

Held in Thuy Phuong, Tu Liem District, Hanoi to celebrate the Ly Ong Trong, a legendary hero who helped the Chinese Emperor Tan Thuy Hoang hold in check the Mongolian invaders. The entertainment includes a water procession.

JULY
Tra Co Village Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid July

Held in Quang Ninh Province, in memory of the establishment of the ancient fishing village of Tra Co, founded about 600 years ago.

Quan Lan Village Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late July to Early August

Located on Quan Lan Islet, Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province. The festival is held in memory of Tutelary god Tran Khanh Du, a general of the Tran Dynasty, who defeated Mongolian invaders in 1288.      Top of Page

AUGUST
Quan Lan Village Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late July to Early August

Loacted on Quan Lan Islet, Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province. The festival is held in memory of Tutelary god Tran Khanh Du, a general of the Tran Dynasty, who defeated Mongolian invaders in 1288.

Tet Trung Nguyen (Wandering Souls Day)
(North Vietnam)
Late August

The festival involves offerings of food, shoes and dresses made of paper for the dead and wandering souls who have no families. Also known as Vu Lan by Buddhists.      Top of Page

SEPTEMBER
Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival
(North Vietnam)
Mid September

Held in Do Son, Haiphong. Buffaloes fight in pairs locking each other with their horns. The one that runs away is declared the loser. The buffaloes are slaughtered at the end of the festival and their meat distributed to all participants as a gift from the spirits.

Mid-Autumn Festival
(All Areas)
Mid September

Celebrated with moon cakes made of sticky rice filled with lotus seeds, watermelon seeds, the yolks of duck eggs and sugar. Singing, dancing, beating drums, eating pastries and parading colourful lanterns in the shape of the moon or stars, are the main activities.

Nghinh Ong Festival
(South Vietnam)
Late September

The biggest water festival of its kind is held fishermen in Ba Ria, Vung Tau Province. Takes place at Thang Tam Communal House, in Vung Tau City. On festival days, the temples are decorated with flower garlands and colourful lanterns are hung during the night. Classical drama performances and folk song performances are the main attraction.

Kiep Bac Temple Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late September

Takes place annually in Hung Dao Commune, Chi Linh District, Hai Duong Province. In commemoration of Tran Hung Dao, a pre-eminent general of the Tran dynasty, the festival consists of a ceremony and navy procession on the Luc Dau River.      Top of Page

OCTOBER
Keo Pagoda Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late October

Held in honour of Buddhist dignitary Duong Khong Lo, who cured King Le from a serious illness. People take part in many religious rites and games, attend artistic performances reflecting the lifestyle of the population that lives along the Red River Delta.

Co Le Pagoda Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late October

Organized in memory of Zen Buddhist, Nguyen Minh Khong, a founder of the bronze the casting profession. Held in Co Le Town, Truc Ninh District, Nam Dinh Province

Kate Festival
(South Vietnam)
End of October to Early November

The biggest in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan Provinces, where many Cham people live, takes place at Poklong Garai Tower, Po Rome Tower, Po Nagar Tower on the 1st of the 7th month according to the Cham calendar. Held in memory of national heroes, King Poklong and King Porome of the Champa kingdom. People from the surrounding areas gather at the towers to attend the ceremony. Excerpts from Taoist books are read, prayers are spoken followed by folk songs.      Top of Page

NOVEMBER
Kate Festival
(South Vietnam)
End of October to Early November

The biggest in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan Provinces, where many Cham people live, takes place at Poklong Garai Tower, Po Rome Tower, Po Nagar Tower on the 1st of the 7th month according to the Cham calendar. Held in memory of national heroes, King Poklong and King Porome of the Champa kingdom. People from the surrounding areas gather at the towers to attend the ceremony. Excerpts from Taoist books are read, prayers are spoken followed by folk songs.

Oc Om Boc Festival and Ngo boat contest
(South Vietnam)
Mid to Late November

Organized by the Khmers in the south of Vietnam, in Soc Trang Province. The main purpose of this festival is to ask the Moon deity to bring abundant crops and catches from the rivers. People place trays of offerings in the pagoda yard. The festival also involves a race of "Ngo" boats, which are wooden boats curved at both bow and stern.

Don Ta Festival
(South Vietnam)
Early to Mid November
Held in the Mekong River Delta.
Nguyen Trung Truc Temple Festival
(South Vietnam)
Late November

Held at Long Kien Commune, Cho Moi District, An Giang province, in memory of Nguyen Trung Truc, a commander of the revolt against the French in the south. It involves a ceremony and games.

Nhi Khe Village Festival
(North Vietnam)
Late November

Organized in Nhi Khe Commune, Thuong Tin District, Ha Tay, in honour of Doan Van Tai, a founder of the wood and horn carvers.      Top of Page

 

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