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  • Kerry Newsome

10 Festivals in Vietnam travellers should know about

Updated: Jul 1

Of course, TET is the most important festival of the year in Vietnam, and because of that you must see our separate BLOG HERE with everything you should know about TET as a traveler. However, there are 9 other festivals that can affect travellers during the year in Vietnam, totally separate from the universal ones related to westerners as in Christmas, New Years and Thanksgiving.

1. Lim Festival

So much of the traditional Vietnamese festivals is taken up with its costumes and pageantry. The Lim festival is one of those special ones that includes lots of traditional fair activities in the beautiful setting in the Lim Village.

The Lim Festival opens annually on around 12th - 13th day of the first lunar month in the year, February 3, 2023. The festival allows travelers to enjoy the UNESCO-listed Quan Ho folk singing and a variety of traditional games. You’ll see locals performing in traditional costumes and it gives amazing insight into the traditions of Vietnam.

The Lim Festival is celebrated in Lim Village which is located in the Bac Ninh Province of Vietnam. The village is only about 11 miles (18 KM) from Hanoi, which you can easily get to by bus or your own rental car.

So much of the traditional Vietnamese festivals is taken up with its costumes and pageantry. The Lim festival is one of those special ones that includes lots of traditional fair activities in the beautiful setting in the Lim Village.
Perfume Pagoda celebrations

2. Perfume Pagoda Festival

The Perfume Pagoda Festival is Vietnam's famous Buddist pilgrimage site. Held February 5, 2023, this festival welcomes thousands of pilgrims who pray when they arrive at the sacred cave. They pray for a happy and prosperous new year. It takes place in Hanoi at the Perfume Pagoda.

During the festival, pilgrims first board boats that pass a beautiful landscape of rice paddies and limestone mountains before going by foot past picturesque historical shrines and up hundreds of stone steps.

Photo credit and further information -

3. Phu Giay Festival

From April 22-27, 2023 in the Nam Dinh Province, the Phu Giay Festival takes place. This festival is a tribute to Lieu Hanh, one of the Vietnamese " 4 immortal gods." Interestingly, Lieu Hanh is the only of the four immortal gods that’s based on a real person. The festival takes place around 55 miles from Hanoi, when the Vietnamese make a pilgrimage to the Phu Giay Temple.

The festival offers traditional diversions such as cock-fighting, ​keo chu, and folk singing. During the festival, many pray for good fortune as they carry decorated bamboo relics while wearing traditional costumes.

4. Hung King Temple Festival

The Hung King Temple Festival takes place on April 29, 2023 and celebrated the birth of Vietnam’s first kings: the Hung Vuong. Hung Vuong became king in 2879 BC, and the story has been embellished over the years. To remember the King and his many sons, people gather at the Hung Temple, located near Việt Trì in Phu Tho province, about 50 miles (80 KM) from Hanoi.

Travelers will get to witness hundreds of lanterns being released into the sky the night before the festival. The next morning a beautiful flower ceremony is held, followed by a large processional that begins at the foot of a mountain and ends at the main Hung Temple.

5. Hue Festival

The Hue Festival of 2023 is to span the entire year! With continuous activities through the entire year, the Hue Festival begins with an opening program known as the Ban Soc ceremony in January, and ending with a Countdown Show on December 31, 2023. The festival is Biennial, meaning it happens once every 2 years.

The festival features theater, dance, music, and acrobatics that are performed in different places around the city, although most of the activities are conducted around the grounds of the Hue Citadel.

Have a listen to Hue The City - Past, Present and Future for more information about Hue.

6. Reunification Day

Celebrated on April 30th, Reunification Day was celebrated when South Vietnam was freed from U.S Troops. This was the day that South Vietnam joined North Vietnam under one government. The people of Vietnam celebrate their Reunification date each year on this date.

The day is celebrated throughout Vietnam, but travelers should head to larger cities such as Hoi An or HCMC to take part.

There is an amazing parade in Hanoi as well as fireworks displays in Danang. HCMC in particular goes crazy late into the evening and lots of events will be held, so make sure you check these out, and where these are held as traffic is beyond description.

7. Buddha’s Birthday

Also known as Vasek, Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated each year by the Vietnamese. Celebrated on May 26, 2023, temples are adorned with lavish decorations to celebrate the birth of Buddha. Locals often offer fruit, flower garlands, and traditional Vietnamese dishes.

Hoi An is one of the best places to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday, which is held at the Phap Bao Pagoda. Locals then head to the temple to perform religious rites, and listen to the Buddha’s scriptures. During the festival animals are released while flower garlands and lanterns are often placed on river banks.

Vietnam Independence Day 2022

8. Independence Day

Vietnam's Independence Day is celebrated on September 2 every year. This euphoric celebration celebrates the independence of Vietnam in a grand way. This is a public holiday in Vietnam, meaning many things will be closed in smaller towns.

Independence Day is celebrated throughout Vietnam, but as a traveler it is best to go to Hanoi or HCMC to celebrate. In HCMC where I was staying at the time of these celebrations the atmosphere was electric. There are many events in the main cities, but more so in HCMC. Beware of traffic if you have to get to the airport as it is crazier than usual and many roads get closed off.

For further reading and photo credit -

9. Mid Autumn Festival

Celebrated on September 16/17 September, 2024, the Mid Autumn Festival features a wide range of activities for all. You’ll see paper lanterns, lion dancing, and food booths that sell a variety of Vietnamese treats. Otherwise known as the Harvest Festival, households often display offerings in honor of the full moon.

Hoi An is a great place to celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival. As a traveler you will see plenty of street performances, a beautiful lantern processional, and exhibits throughout the town.

This one is a special one and many travellers base their trip around as they want to be part of the pageantry. It is always noisy, fun, colourful and the vibe is always around fun and mainly focused on children, so families, I suggest it would be. areal treat for kids.

It’s a good idea to keep these festivals in mind when planning your trip to Vietnam. Travellers can certainly get a better glimpse into Vietnamese culture by taking part in them, but sometimes its best to avoid them or plan around them as with nearly 100 million people, things can get congested and make travel plans difficult if you haven'tt planned for them.

Happy travels.

Kerry Newsome


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