LIST OF FAMOUS FESTIVALS IN VIETNAM THAT TOURISTS SHOULD KNOW


15 Jan 2021

The famous Vietnamese festivals and celebrations such as Tel festival, Mid-autumn festival, Lantern festival in Hoi An, music & food festival are the most impressive & typical cultural activities in Vietnam.

Table Contents
  • I - What are the most popular traditional festivals in Vietnam?
  • 1 - Huong Pagoda festival (Perfume festival)
  • 2 - Hùng Kings’ festival
  • 3 - Lim Festival - a famous festival in Vietnam 
  • 4 - Buddha's Birthday -  an important festival in Vietnam to Buddhists 
  • 5 - Ullambana Filial Piety (Vu Lan Festival)
  • 6 - Mid-Autumn festival - a famous Vietnamese fall festival
  • 7 - Lantern Festival - Hoi An
  • 8 -  Gong Festival 
  • 9 - Yen Tu Festival - religious typical festival in Vietnam
  • 10 - Dragon boat festival Vietnam
  • II - How about the top 10 contemporary festivals in Vietnam
  • 1 - Hue Festival
  • 2 - Carnaval Hạ Long
  • 3 -  EDM Ravolution Festival
  • 4 - Monsoon Music Festival - a big music festival in Vietnam
  • 5 - Nha Trang Beach Vietnam festival
  • 6 - Vung Tau International Kite Festival in Vietnam
  • 7 - Da Nang International Fireworks Festival
  • 8 - Dalat Flower Festival
  • 9 - Street food festival
  • 10 - Buon Ma Thuot Coffee festival
  • III - List of other festivals in Vietnam
Famous Vietnamese festivals title
Source: E.Vnexpress

 Vietnam is famous for its unique festivals with strong cultural identity, which attract millions of tourists every year. So, which Vietnamese festivals can you take part in at certain times of the year? Please follow the article below to not miss any piece information about this interesting topic.

I - What are the most popular traditional festivals in Vietnam?

Most cultural and traditional festivals take place in lunar months. These are top 10 major festivals that are popular with many people in Vietnam:

1 - Huong Pagoda festival (Perfume festival)

Huong Pagoda Festival was first held in 1770 by the lord Trinh Sam in order to show respect for the female forest lord and wish a year of fortune, avoiding disasters and dispelling evil beasts. The main cultural activities in this Vietnamese festival are offering incense, paying homage to Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva on the lunar new year, boating along the Yến stream, climbing or watching folk opera on the river. The fee for each boat trip is 130,000 VND/person (Main route: Trinh temple - Thien Tru pagoda - Huong Tich cave) ($5.6).
- Time: From lunar January 6 to March 30 (solar February 15 to 20)
- Location: Huong Son commune, My Duc district, Hanoi city

Perfume festival

Huong Pagoda festival (Source: Kenh14)

In 2021, this spring festival in Vietnam is taken place from lunar February 17 to May 11 (solar March 27 to April 1) 
In 2022, from lunar February 6 to April 30 (solar March 17 to March 22)

2 - Hùng Kings’ festival

Since ancient times, the Hùng Temple Festival or Hùng Kings has become a very important holiday for the Vietnamese people. In particular, Hùng Kings were the first to establish Van Lang (the first national name of Vietnam), which was later Vietnam. The Hung King festival in Vietnam is an occasion for Vietnamese people to show their gratitude and respect to their ancestors.

The main activities in Hung Kings’ Festival include two parts: Parade and Fun activities.
- Time: lunar March 10 (solar April 21, 2021 | April 10, 2022)
- Location: Hung Temple, Hy Cuong commune, Lam Thao District, Phu Tho Province

3 - Lim Festival - a famous festival in Vietnam 

There are many assumptions that the Lim Festival today is derived from the old Trương Chi singing festival on the Tieu Tuong River, located in the Lim region, Bac Ninh province. The Lim festival is meant to promote the cultural, artistic values as well as the spiritual beliefs of the Kinh people.

Lim famous festival in Vietnam

Lim festival (Source: Internet)

 

The famous melodies are associated with songs for ordering a boat, inviting a quid of betel and areca. In this long-standing Vietnamese festival, tourists can see numerous unique folk games such as: Wrestling, martial arts, weaving looms, cooking and “đu tiên”(a swinging game). In particular, the most impressive and unique part is the singing assembly with sweet melodies of the local people’s art. 
- Time: lunar January 12-14 (solar February 23 - 25, 2021 | solar March 14 - 16, 2022)
- Location: Lim town, Tien Du district, Bac Ninh province

4 - Buddha's Birthday -  an important festival in Vietnam to Buddhists 

Buddha's Birthday is the birth anniversary of Buddha Shakyamuni. On this day, every Vietnamese will direct their souls toward good by practicing vegetarianism, making blessings and helping others. This shows the strong Buddhist cultural beliefs of the Vietnamese people, as well as a desire for a bright future.

The main activities in Buddha's Birthday are: parade, flower car procession, welcome show and charity activities like flower offering and Buddha's name recitation. In addition, there are many other meaningful activities on this traditional festival in Vietnam.
-Time: lunar April 8 - 15 (May 19 - 26, 2021 | May 8 - 15, 2022)
- Venue: Usually held at large and small pagodas across the country.

5 - Ullambana Filial Piety (Vu Lan Festival)

Vu Lan festival originates from the legend of Bodhisattva Muc Kien Lien, who saved his mother from the life of a hungry ghost, forming filial piety. From then on, July 15 of the lunar calendar became the Vu Lan festival in Vietnam, the Vietnamese day of filial piety, a chance for children to give good wishes and show their filiality to their parents, grandparents and ancestors. 

Vu Lan traditional festival in Vietnam

Vu Lan festival (Source: VnExpress)

The main activities on Vu Lan festival include: fasting, reciting Buddha's name to dedicate merit to the birth, reciting the Buddha to dedicate merit to the unhappy lives, burning incense to pray and listening to Buddhist scriptures, etc.
- Time: lunar July 15 (August 22, 2021 | August 22, 2022)
- Location: At home or pagodas.

6 - Mid-Autumn festival - a famous Vietnamese fall festival

According to historical documents, the Mid-Autumn Festival has taken place since ancient times. The activities were printed on the drum face at the time of Ngọc Lũ or on the epitaph of Doi pagoda in 1211. But it was not until the reign of  Le King and Trinh Lords that the holiday was organized on a large scale. This is an opportunity for children to have fun, bring star lanterns and watch lion dance while adults spend time watching the moon and making predictions about crops and the national destiny.
- Time: lunar August 15 (September 21, 2021 | September 10, 2022)
- Location: nationwide

Interested in Vietnamese Mid-Autumn festival? Click here for details

7 - Lantern Festival - Hoi An

Lanterns first appeared in Vietnam in the 16th century when the Chinese first came to Hoi An for exchanging and trading goods or establishing a long-term business. Up to now, the craft of lantern-making in Hoi An has been over 400 years old, with various designs, colors and sizes. It is a "light" party that brings a blurry and romantic atmosphere in Hoi An ancient town.

Hoi An Lantern Festival

Hoi An Lantern Festival (Source: Jaanus Jagomägi)

On this special Vietnam festival, every house and every street in Hoi An will be decorated by a bright and colorful lanterns. At the same time, cultural fun activities are combined such as listening to music; playing chess, folk games or releasing flower garlands, etc.
- Time: On the 14th every lunar month
- Location: Hoi An ancient town, Quang Nam province

8 -  Gong Festival 

The Gong festival is one of the most interesting Vietnamese cultural festivals which is annually held in the mountainous provinces of the Central Highlands to preserve and promote the beautiful cultural values of Gong culture. On every important occasion or community activity, each village has its own Gong team. Naturally, Gong culture has been deeply ingrained in the spiritual life of the people in the Central Highlands.

The main activities of the Gong Festival usually include: perform worship rituals, weaving brocade, knitting, carving wooden statues, performing epic or folk songs, displaying exhibitions of pictures and documents. Each event in this Vietnamese festival brings a nuance, expressing a different cultural value of the people of the Central Highlands.
- Time: Unfixed
- Location: alternatively 5 provinces in the Central Highlands: Daklak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Lam Dong and Kon Tum.

9 - Yen Tu Festival - religious typical festival in Vietnam

Annually, Yen Tu festival is held with the significance of  bringing the noble Buddha concepts to people, helping them escape from mundanity and have a meaningful pilgrimage to the Buddha. Yen Tu pagoda is at an altitude of 1,068m above sea level and has more than 1,000 years of history. This is also the place where the Truc Lam Zen sect (“Bamboo Grove”) was discovered.

Yen Tu Vietnamese festival

Yen Tu Festival (Source: Internet)

The main activities in this Vietnamese festival include: holding performances of historical reenactment and offerings, organizing performances of re-enacting the history, offering incense to worship the Buddha, celebrating the Opening Ceremony of "Dấu thiêng chùa Đồng" (The scared Đồng Pagoda), Dragon Dance, folk games and performances traditional martial arts, etc. 

- Time: lunar January 10 - March 30

In 2021: Yen Tu Vietnam festival 2021 from 21/2  to 11/5 (solar calendar)

In 2022: Lasting from 10/3 to 30/4 (solar calendar)

- Location: Truc Lam Yen Tu Cultural Center, Thuong Yen Cong commune, Uong Bi city, Quang Ninh province.

The cable car service from the foot of the mountain to the top of Yên Tử pagoda will cost around VND 100,000 / way ($4.3).

10 - Dragon boat festival Vietnam

Dragon boat racing festival, the traditional beauty of people in the sea and water areas in Vietnam, is usually held at the beginning of the new year or at the middle of the year that is associated with the local fish harvesting season. 

This typical festival is considered a traditional cultural and sports activity of Vietnamese which is still well preserved over the years in order to promote the spiritual and cultural values of coastal residents; to pray for a year full of joy & wealth, favorable weather and a successful fish-catching season.

Some famous places where the dragon boat festival Vietnam are held: 

- Hai Phong dragon boat racing festival: People in Cat Ba island, Cat Hai district, Do Son district (Hai Phong) often organize dragon boat races around April and May.

- Dragon boat racing festival in Thanh Hoa province: People in Quang Xương, Nong Cong and Tinh Gia district often hold the boat racing festival in the beginning of the Lunar New Year. 

- Dragon boat racing festival in Dong Hoi (Quang Binh) bears the imprint of folk beliefs according to the theory of yin-yang. The dragon boat is "yang" and the phoenix boat is "yin".

II - How about the top 10 contemporary festivals in Vietnam

In addition to the traditional festivals, Vietnam is also famous for a variety of modern festivals, introducing cultures and features of each region such as:

1 - Hue Festival

Hue Festival is known as one of the annual activities to reenact the majestic history and preserve the traditional cultural beauty such as Hue royal music, Hue royal cuisine, etc. 

The main activities in this Vietnam festival such as: Opening ceremony, ao dai festival, elegant performance of Hue royal music, food festival, street culture festival, reenactment of Nguyen Dynasty, etc. Other interesting activities to see are the cultural and artistic performances, Ao Dai performances, etc. Ticket fees are from 50,000 - 350,000 VND / person ($2.15 - 15).
- Time: unfixed
- Location: Hue city, Thua Thien Hue province.

2 - Carnaval Hạ Long

Carnaval Ha Long is an annual festival in Vietnam to promote tourism and attract thousands of domestic and foreign tourists to the beautiful city of Ha Long. At the same time, the festival is also an opening activity, officially opening the vibrant marine tourism season in Quang Ninh every year.

The main activities at Carnaval Ha Long include: music performances, street performances and artistic fireworks.
- Time: April 25 - May 1
- Location: Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province

3 -  EDM Ravolution Festival

EDM Ravolution Music Festival is held annually to bring a vibrant and youthful music space to young Vietnamese people and introduce a new spiritual dish, which is  abounded with youth and excitement,  with great outdoor stages and talented DJs.
EDM Ravolution night will be held on a single night with many famous stars. The average entrance ticket price is from 450,000 - 4,000,000 VND/person ($19.4 - 172.4).
- Time: unfixed
- Location: big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city.

4 - Monsoon Music Festival - a big music festival in Vietnam

Monsoon Music Festival or Monsoon International Music Festival is an annual music activity held annually since 2014. The festival offers a large, vibrant and diverse music party with the participation of dozens of famous singers at home and abroad.

Music festival in Vietnam

Monsoon music festival (Source: Billboardvn)

Monsoon Music Festival only organizes a single music night with many well-invested art productions, a large stage and a lively outdoor sound system.
- Time: November 
- Location: The big square in the center of Hanoi city.

5 - Nha Trang Beach Vietnam festival

The theme of Nha Trang Beach Festival is to introduce culture, attract tourism,  and honor the cultural and spiritual values which are typical of Khanh Hoa coastal people. At the same time, it introduces the image of a young, dynamic and readily integrated Nha Trang.

Top activities: opening fireworks, swimming tournaments, basket swimming - basket shaking, fishing competition, folk singing, etc. There are also many exhibitions and fairs to introduce specialties and agricultural products of the local people.
- Time: from June to August of the annual calendar
- Location: Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province.

6 - Vung Tau International Kite Festival in Vietnam

The annual International Kite Festival in Vung Tau is an annual activity to preserve the inherent traditional beauties of kite-making and flying. It is also a cultural activity to attract tourists to Vung Tau city and the beautiful Ho Tram tourist area.
This famous Vietnamese festival usually includes activities: opening ceremony, closing ceremony, kite flying activities, or street food.
- Time: Early spring - mid-summer, a time of warm sunshine and cool wind.
- Location: Vung Tau City and Ho Tram tourist area, Long Son district, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province.

7 - Da Nang International Fireworks Festival

This is one of the best festivals in Vietnam that attracts thousands of international tourists. Since 2008, Da Nang city has become the locality to organize the annual international fireworks festival with the participation of dozens of teams from different territories around the world. 

Fireworks famous Vietnamese festival

International Fireworks Festival in Da Nang (Source: Danangfantasticity)

Activities usually take place in the framework of the festival such as: opening ceremony, closing ceremony, art fireworks with various colors and shapes in about 15 - 30 minutes.
- Time: unfixed
- Location: Danang city

8 - Dalat Flower Festival

Dalat is known as a "city of flowers" because the weather and climate here is really suitable for the development of flowers. Every year in the spring, Da Lat city organizes the Dalat Flower Festival - one of the most beautiful & popular festivals in Vietnam to introduce the value, agricultural products and the beautiful scenery here.

Activities usually take place in the Dalat Flower Festival include: Flower exhibitions, agricultural seminars, street festivals, music performances, etc. Every year, the Dalat Flower Festival attracts thousands of visitors in and abroad, especially those who love flowers and nature.
- Time: Usually takes place in the spring when there are the most blooming flowers.
- Location: Da Lat city, Lam Dong province.

9 - Street food festival

Street food is one of the indispensable culinary features  in Vietnamese life. In particular, the most prominent is bread, which is popular with  many international friends. The Vietnamese food festival is organized with the aim of introducing culinary culture and exchanging culinary culture among countries.

In the festival, the stalls display street food from various countries, especially outstanding street food of Vietnam, etc.
- Time: Unfixed
- Location: Mainly held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city

10 - Buon Ma Thuot Coffee festival

Vietnam is the world's second largest coffee exporter with a wide range of products from raw coffee beans to finished coffee. Buon Me Thuot coffee festival is a famous Vietnamese festival with activities of introducing the products, Vietnamese coffee preliminary processing technology and exchanging culture.

Buon Ma Thuot Coffee festival

Coffee festival (Source: Phunuvietnam)

Activities that regularly take place during the Buon Me Thuot coffee festival include: specialized coffee exhibitions, introduction on products and coffee brands of Vietnam, coffee making competitions, coffee travel itineraries, etc. Visitors to the coffee festival can buy some coffee as gifts at the price of 50,000 - 500,000 VND/item ($2 - 21.5).
- Time: Around March 9-15
- Location: Buon Me Thuot city, Daklak province

III - List of other festivals in Vietnam

Festivals

Time (lunar month)

Location 

Phủ Giầy Festival - Nam Dinh

Mar 1-10

Nam Dinh province

Hai Bà Trưng Temple Festival

Mar 4

Me Linh district - Hanoi

Liễu Đôi Festival

Jan 4

Nam Dinh province

Đậu Pagoda Festival

Jan 8 - 10

Thuong Tin district, Hanoi

Dong Da Festival

Dec 12

Dong Da district - Hanoi and Tay Son district - Binh Dinh province

Elephant racing festival

Jan 10

Buon Ma Thuot city, Daklak province

Lim Festival

Jan 13

Tien Du district, Bac Ninh province

Côn Sơn Festival

Dec 10

Hai Duong province

Bà Đen Spring Festival

Jan 15

Tay Ninh province

Tây Phương Pagoda Festival

Mar 6

Thach That district - Hanoi

Hai Bà Trưng Temple Festival

Mar 4 - 6

Hat Mon commune - Phuc Tho district - Hanoi

Gò Tháp Festival

Mar 14, 15, 16 - Nov 14, 15, 16

Thap Muoi district, Dong Thap province

Thầy Pagoda Festival

Mar 7

Quoc Oai  district - Hanoi

Hoa Lư Festival

Mar 9

Hoa Lu district - Ninh Binh province

Buffalo Fighting Festival

Mar

Buon Ma Thuot city, Daklak province

Gióng Festival

Apr 9

Phu Dong district - Gia Lam - Hanoi

Bà Chúa Xứ Temple Festival

Apr 28

Chau Doc district - An Giang province

Lê Văn Duyệt Festival

Aug 2

Ho Chi Minh City

Đồ Sơn Buffalo fighting Festival 

Aug 9

Hai Phong province

Nghinh Ông Festival

Aug 16

Tien Giang province, Ben Tre province, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Thuan province

Kinh Sơn - Kiếp Bạc Festival

Aug 20

Hai Duong province


Hopefully, with the information we provided, visitors can easily grasp and choose the best time to visit & participate in at least one among the top popular festivals in Vietnam. At the same time, you will also somewhat understand more about the traditional values, life and spiritual culture of the Vietnamese. 

U want to share?
Hi, my name is Quan, and you can call me “Kun”. Having a big passion for travel, I spent 6 months traveling to most of the regions & provinces in Vietnam. I find Vietnam's landscapes are so beautiful, Vietnamese people are so friendly.

Quan Nguyen — Quan Nguyen

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