The following is a summary of the major events and festivals during Vietnam’s calendar year. These events are often spectacular occasions and can be great fun for tourists to visit, but they do also often result in hotels and becoming fully booked and some businesses close during these occasions, so these dates are worth bearing in mind when planning any holiday in Vietnam.
Tet/Lunar New Year – 9-14 February 2013
This is by far the biggest event on the Vietnamese calendar, where the whole country grinds to a halt as people celebrate the lunar New Year with their families. You may find that some restaurants, bars and shops will probably be closed during this time.
Hung King festival - 19-21 April 2013
The Hung King Temple Festival is annually held from 8th to the 11th days of the third lunar month on which the National Assembly has approved Vietnamese working people to annually have one more national holiday to mark the anniversary of the Hung King’s death.
Liberation Day - 30 April 2013
Vietnam celebrates Liberation Day annually on 30 April.
Labor Day – 01 May 2013
May 1 is International Workers’ Day (a name used interchangeably with May Day) is a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the international labor movement.
Quoc khánh – 2 September 2013
National Day when Vietnam declared its independence, forming the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). The day commemorates Ho Chi Minh’s speech declaring the independence of Vietnam.
Hai Ba Trung Day
Is the day that marks the death of Trun Sisters that led a revolt against the Chinese empire. The Vietnamese army defeated the Chinese forces and gained independence, however the Chinese recaptured Vietnam 3 years afterwards. The sisters drowned themselves in the Hat Chiang River.
The day marks the Summer solstice. According to popular Vietnamese belief, God of Death is even more ruthless during this period and thus Vietnamese erect altars at temples and other public places throughout the country and make offerings to the spirits and the of death. Human figurines are burnt in order to satisfy the God of Death.
Trung Nguyen (Wandering Souls' Day)
Trung Nguyen is the second largest festival in Vietnam after Tet. It falls on the 15th day of the 7th month. According to traditional Vietnamese belief, on this day, the hell gates are open and souls can fly out to visit their relatives and eat at the family altars. Ceremony includes large tables on top of which the food offerings are placed. Also, traditional burning of paper and clothes made of paper is taking place during this festival.
Trung Thu, Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn festival in Vietnam is the time when you can see the spectacular processions of kids with colourful lanterns on sticks through the streets. Also, there is an abundance of moon cakes with all sorts of fillings. This year the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on 19 September, 2013