Top 6 traditional festivals in Vietnam that you should know

Vietnam is famous for its diverse and rich culture, which is showcased through its traditional festivals held annually. Each festival has its own unique characteristics, reflecting the spiritual beliefs, gratitude, and unity of the Vietnamese people. In this article, Vietnam Motorcycle Tours Club will introduce 6 typical traditional festivals in Vietnam that you should attend when visiting. 

Why should you participate in media festivals in Vietnam?

Participating in traditional festivals in Vietnam is a wonderful experience that brings you many benefits. The festival is a place to preserve and express the long-standing cultural and historical values of the nation. You have the opportunity to learn about customs, beliefs, traditional arts, and local historical stories.

Moreover, the festival is a venue for numerous lively entertainment activities, attracting a large number of people to participate. You can immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere, celebrate, and enjoy happy moments with family and friends.

why should you participate in media festivals in vietnam

In addition, each traditional activity often features its own unique dishes, reflecting the local culinary culture. By joining the festival, you have the chance to savor delicious, unique dishes that cannot be found anywhere else.

The festival also serves as a meeting place for a large number of people from all over, offering you the opportunity to socialize, make friends, and expand your network. Here, you will feel the connection and sharing among people, contributing to enhancing the spirit of community unity. Sign up for Vietnam Motorbike Tours now to experience it! 

Top 6 traditional festivals in Vietnam that impress you

1. Tết Nguyên Đán – Traditional Festivals In Vietnam

Tết Nguyên Đán, also known as the Traditional Lunar New Year, is the most important festival of the year for Vietnamese people. It marks the transition between the old year and the new one, an occasion for everyone to put aside their worries and sorrows from the past year and welcome a new year filled with hope and new beginnings. Tết Nguyên Đán has a long history, originating from the rice culture of Vietnam. The festival is closely associated with various legends and customs, reflecting the concept of the universe, Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, and gratitude towards ancestors.

tet nguyen dan festivals in vietnam

Tết Nguyên Đán follows the lunar calendar, typically falling in January or February of the Gregorian calendar. The festival lasts from the 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month to the 7th day of the first lunar month, spanning about 7 to 8 days. Note that Tết Nguyên Đán is an official public holiday in Vietnam; therefore, all shops and services will be temporarily closed. It is advisable to contact travel agencies in advance if you plan to visit during this period.

2. Cau Tao Festival

Cau Tao Festival, also known as “Festival of Asking for God’s Help”, is a traditional festival celebrated by the Tay ethnic group in northern Vietnam. This festival takes place annually on the 4th day of Lunar New Year and lasts for three days. The main purpose of the festival is to pray for peace, happiness, and prosperity for the whole community.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Cau Tao Festival is the performance of “xoe” dance. This traditional dance involves dancers forming a circle while holding hands and performing graceful movements to the beat of drums and gongs. It is believed that the dance represents the unity and harmony of the community. Another highlight of the festival is the traditional games such as tug of war, bamboo stick dancing, and human chess. These games not only add excitement to the festival but also offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life of the Tay people.

cau tao festival

3. Khau Vai Festival

Khau Vai Festival is a unique celebration of love and friendship between different ethnic groups in Vietnam. This festival takes place on the 27th day of Lunar March every year in Khau Vai commune, Ha Giang province. According to legend, a couple from different ethnic groups was forbidden to marry due to tribal conflicts. As a result, they made a promise to meet each other once a year on this day at Khau Vai market. Over time, this tradition evolved into a festival that attracts thousands of visitors every year.

During the festival, couples who are separated due to circumstances or death can reunite and spend a day together. They can sing, dance, and reminisce about their past. It is also a time for young people to find love as they are allowed to freely flirt and possibly start a relationship. The festival is a beautiful display of love and acceptance of different cultures and is a must-see for anyone visiting Vietnam.

khau vai festival

4. Hue Festival

Hue Festival is one of the biggest and most famous festivals in Vietnam. It takes place every two years in the ancient city of Hue, the former capital of Vietnam. This festival showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Nguyen Dynasty, which ruled Vietnam from 1802 to 1945. The festival features a variety of events such as traditional music, dance performances, kite flying, and a grand procession of royal costumes.

One of the highlights of the festival is the Imperial Night, where the citadel of Hue is brought to life with light and sound installations depicting the glory of the Nguyen Dynasty. Visitors can also enjoy delicious traditional cuisine from different regions of Vietnam at the International Food Festival. Hue Festival is not only a celebration of the city’s history but also a platform for contemporary art and cultural exchange.

hue festival

5. Cap Sac Festival (Lai Chau) – Traditional Festivals In Vietnam

Cap Sac Festival, also known as “Maturity Ceremony”, is a traditional festival of the Dao ethnic group in Lai Chau province. This festival marks the coming-of-age of boys and girls in the community. It is usually held in early spring, and preparations for the festival begin weeks in advance. The ceremony is considered a rite of passage and symbolizes the maturity and readiness of young adults to take on responsibilities within the community.

The highlight of the ceremony is the ritualistic hair cutting, where the participants’ long hair is cut off and replaced with a new hairstyle. This signifies the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. The participants also receive their traditional outfits, which they will wear during the festival. The festival features traditional dances, songs, and rituals performed by the youth, showcasing the unique culture of the Dao ethnic group.

cap sac festival lai chau

6. Hung Temple Festival (Phu Tho)

Hung Temple Festival, also known as “Hung Kings Temple Festival”, is a national festival in Vietnam that takes place on the 10th day of the third Lunar month. This festival commemorates the legendary Hung Kings, the founding fathers of Vietnam. It is a time for the Vietnamese people to honor their ancestors and pay tribute to their contributions to the nation.

The festival begins with a grand procession, where locals carry offerings of incense, flowers, fruits, and traditional dishes to the Hung Temple. This is followed by a series of rituals and ceremonies, including the “Xoan” singing, a traditional folk music performance recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. During the festival, visitors can also witness traditional games, dragon dancing, and martial arts performances. It is a great opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Vietnam and be a part of a significant national event.

hung temple festival phu tho

Notes when participating in festivals in Vietnam

To make your trip more convenient, you should note the following:

  • Respect the local culture and traditions: When attending a festival in Vietnam, it is important to respect the customs and traditions of the community. Dress modestly and follow the instructions given by the locals.
  • Be open-minded: Some festivals may involve practices or beliefs that may seem strange to outsiders. Keep an open mind and embrace the cultural differences.
  • Try the local food: Festivals in Vietnam are a feast for the senses, and the food is no exception. Be sure to try the traditional dishes and drinks offered during the festival.
  • Bring cash: Most festivals in Vietnam are free to attend, but there may be small fees for certain activities or food stalls. It is recommended to bring cash as credit cards may not be accepted.
  • Capture memories respectfully: Taking photos and videos is a great way to remember your experiences, but make sure to ask for permission before taking someone’s photo. Also, avoid using flash photography during religious ceremonies.

Attending a traditional festival in Vietnam is an incredible way to immerse yourself in the country’s culture and traditions. From witnessing mesmerizing performances to indulging in delicious food, these festivals offer a unique insight into the heart and soul of Vietnam. So, if you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, make sure to include at least one of these top 6 traditional festivals in your itinerary for an unforgettable experience.

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