HOW IS LUNAR NEW YEAR IN HANOI CELEBRATED?


21 Jan 2021

Enjoying the Lunar New Year (Tet Holiday or Chinese New Year in other words in Hanoi - the cultural and historical capital of Vietnam) might be one of the most interesting and unforgettable experiences for international travelers. So what attractions and events should be taken into account during Lunar New Year in Hanoi? Let's find out through the article below!

Table Contents
  • I - Must-see attractions
  • 1 - Famous shopping destinations during Hanoi Chinese New Year
  • 2 - Famous spiritual attractions
  • 3 - Entertaining destination
  • II - Distinguish features of New Year in Hanoi 
  • 1 - The Hanoians’ pleasure of enjoying flowers
  • 2 - Hanoians’ cuisine
  • 3 - The silent Hanoi During the Lunar New Year
  • III - Tips for foreign to experience the Hanoi New Year Eve
Lunar New Year in Hanoi title
Source: Chu Van Tung

I - Must-see attractions

1 - Famous shopping destinations during Hanoi Chinese New Year

The most common shopping destination among Hanoians during Tet Holiday is traditional markets such as the Dong Xuan market, Ha Dong market, Long Bien market, and Thanh Cong market instead of busy shopping centers, or convenient supermarkets. Among which Dong Xuan is considered the most famous one with a history of more than 130 years. Moreover, its 2,100 stalls and 70 surrounding kiosks are filled with ancient spiritual and cultural values. 
Shopping in Hanoi Chinese New Year

Shopping for Tet at Dong Xuan market - Source: Vietfuntravel

Due to the high demand for flowers during the Tet holidays of Hanoians, there are several colorful flower markets held annually namely Nhat Tan flower garden, Hang Duong flower market, Hang Dau Street, Van Phuc flower market, Quang Ba Market. Normally, they are opened once a year from December 23 to the end of Tet 30. When the time comes, they are always crowded. Getting there, you can find several different kinds of flowers that vary from peach blossoms, apricot flowers, chrysanthemums, lilies to special rare flowers.
In addition, Hang Ma street with a number of decorative items is also a good choice for travelers who want to experience the atmosphere of Chinese New Year in Hanoi. A wide variety of "Vietnamese" items from the smallest things such as lucky money covers, couplets, wishes, to decorative mascot statues such as cats of fortune, large statues are sold here. All of them create a colorful and vibrant neighborhood as the warm vibe of the spring. 

2 - Famous spiritual attractions

Praying in pagodas at the beginning of the Lunar Year has become a cultural and spiritual beauty existing in the life of every Vietnamese. The Vietnamese go to pagodas these days not only to pray for a peaceful and lucky new year but also to seek a place where they can be calmer, and leave all troubles and worries of the previous hard year behind. If you come to Hanoi on the Lunar New Year, don't miss this special experience. There are some suggesting destinations for you:
Tran Quoc in Hanoi New Year’s Eve

Tran Quoc Pagoda - Source: Luong Anh

Tran Quoc Pagoda, also known as the oldest pagoda in Hanoi with a history of more than 1,500 years, was built and restructured during the Ly - Tran dynasty. Until now, it is not only spiritual but also contains  considerably valuable historical and cultural values. After Hanoi New Year’s Eve, local people often come here and pray for a good new to come.  

Quan Su Pagoda is located at 73 Quan Su street, Tran Hung Dao Ward, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. It was built in the 15th century under King Le The Tong reign. As the headquarters of the Central Vietnam Buddhist Association, Quan Su Pagoda has become an indispensable part of Hanoi's soul.

Ha Pagoda is located at 86, Chua Ha Street, Cau Giay District. It is widely known as the holiest temple to pray for love in Hanoi. Annually in the spring, the pagoda welcomes many young people coming to burn incense, pray for peace, and especially their beloved.

Phu Tay Ho is located on a large peninsula of Nghi Tam village, Quang An ward, Tay Ho district, Hanoi. The temple worships the Princess Lieu Hanh - one of The Four Immortals in the Vietnamese belief. Hanoians often flock here to pray for luck in their business. Besides, the beautiful scenery as well as the sacredness of this land might surprise you.

The Temple of Literature located at 58 Quoc Tu Giam Street, Dong Da District. With a history of more than 900 years, is known as the first university in Vietnam and also a symbol of feudal education. From which thousands of talents graduated, thus the Temple of Literature is considered an extremely sacred place to pray for luck on exams among students. During the Lunar New Year in Hanoi, many people, especially parents and students come here to ask for calligraphy for luck. 

3 - Entertaining destination

Old Quarter New Year in Hanoi

Old town in Tet season - Source: VnExpress

One of the most popular attractions in Hanoi- the Old Quarter does not lose its bustling bustle but even more noisy and vibrant than usual before the Lunar New Year. Wandering around the Old Quarter, visitors will be able to participate in several traditional activities bearing Vietnamese cultural identity namely playing folk games, walking on stilts, making 'to he'. Moreover, on New Year's Eve, you can join the biggest New Year's welcome program of Vietnam in the Hoan Kiem Lake area. Visitors might be immersed in an extremely vibrant space of sound, light, and impromptu dances while a beautiful fireworks performance is displaying to welcome the new year.

II - Distinguish features of New Year in Hanoi 

1 - The Hanoians’ pleasure of enjoying flowers

Every Tet Holiday comes, Hanoians will show their very elegant and poetic hobby of enjoying flowers. Peaches, kumquat, and narcissus are the most typical flowers during the annual Lunar New Year. According to traditional beliefs, Vietnamese in general and Hanoians in particular believe that bright red and yellow color will bring warmth and luckiness for the new year. Until now, this pleasure is still preserved and promoted across the country.

2 - Hanoians’ cuisine

Cuisine New Year Party Hanoi

Source: Kenh14

According to the custom of the Northern people, especially the Hanoians, the New Year Party Hanoi is always full of colors - flavors which means not only delicious but also eye-catching. It might have 6 bowls of 6 dishes or 8 bowls of 8 dishes with the hope for peace, fortune, and prosperity. Although several changes have been witnessed up to now, typical traditional dishes such as 'banh chung', sticky fragrant sticky rice, Vietnamese sausage, boiled chicken, fried spring rolls, and pickles onion still appear in the Tet Holiday meals of most Vietnamese families. If you come to Hanoi on these days, it is highly recommended to enjoy a simple and flavorful meal of the Hanoian.

3 - The silent Hanoi During the Lunar New Year

The Silent Hanoi New Year Eve

Hanoi's New Year's Day - Source: Kenh14

Leaving the bustle and excitement of New Year's Eve behind, Hanoi during those first days of the Tet Holiday is incredibly quiet and peaceful. Contrary to the hustle and bustle atmosphere of the capital city during normal days, Hanoi is completely different at the beginning day of the lunar year. All streets became more deserted. There was no familiar traffic jam or crowd on the road, only the gentle vibe of spring spreading everywhere. It would be a great experience to hide in the corner, sip a cup of coffee, and enjoy a very peaceful Hanoi.

III - Tips for foreign to experience the Hanoi New Year Eve

With foreigners who are living and working in Hanoi, it is necessary to prepare enough food for 2 - 3 days of the Tet Holiday because most supermarkets, markets, and shops are closed these days. However, nowadays there are also many convenience stores serving fast food that are open throughout Tet, so you don't need to worry too much if you have no time to prepare.
Visitors in Hanoi New Year Eve

Visitors in Hanoi - Source: VnExpress

With foreign tourists, it must be aware that the rate of accommodation, food, and other tourist services are normally twice or even third times higher than normal days. Therefore, to have a better experience, visitors should book services in advance. In addition, you should also prepare a little backup medicine in case you are not used to the weather there.
In brief, we have already given you all the essential information related to experiencing the New Year in Hanoi. Wish you all an amazing and memorable experience about this special holiday in Vietnam

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Hi, I am Linh ! A young & passionate Vietnamese who love the wandering days in exploring new things and experiencing the different cultures. Welcome to my Vietnamese travel guides & sharings.

Duy Linh — Duy Linh

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