Vietnamese New Year (Tet or Tet Nguyen Dan) is celebrated on the first day of the Lunar calendar's first month, which translates to somewhere between January and February on the Gregorian calendar. The celebration can typically last for up to seven days, making it the most extended holiday celebration in Vietnamese culture. In 2021 (Year of the Ox), the Tet holiday will take place between February 10th - 16th. During Tet, family members will travel across the country back home to be with their friends and family to welcome the Lunar New Year together.
Travel into and out of Hanoi will be increasingly hectic as it gets closer to the dates of the celebrations as many will travel home in time for the holiday. Even with tickets booked in advance, it will be tricky to avoid the large holiday crowds traveling in and out of the city.
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In Hanoi, the streets will be less congested with traffic as many people will have returned to their hometowns. Many businesses (restaurants, bars, markets, etc.) will also be closed for the duration of the holiday. The few businesses that open during the holiday will have an additional upcharge for their services. On top of that, a majority of places of interest such as museums will be closed. However, some temples are still opened to the public during the Tet holiday.
Check out the Dos and Don’ts - How to Enjoy Tet Holiday
Vietnam’s capital is one of the best places to celebrate the Tet holiday when it comes to cultural immersion. The streets of Hanoi will be decorated with brightly colored flowers and celebratory artworks creating a cheerful atmosphere. Gorgeous lantern arrangements will light up the city corners during the night time. Visiting flower markets and local temples are favorite activities enjoyed by both locals and tourists during the holiday.
The streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter are lined with blooming flowers and decorations during the Tet holiday season
During the Tet holiday, the Old Quarter transforms into a colorful Tet market that offers plenty of decorative holiday ornaments as well as flowers for sale. The market is a great place to get gifts for your friends and family as the variety of selection available is staggering. Walking through the area will give you a unique sense of cultural immersion special only during the Tet holiday season.
Beautiful flowers can be seen all around Hoan Kiem Lake
Take a leisure stroll around the famous Hoan Kiem Lake to enjoy the bustling festivities. Plenty of holiday decorations and flower displays are placed all around the lake and makes for great photo opportunities. Locals in cheerful traditional clothing can be seen around the area taking advantage of the holiday scenery.
The Ngoc Son Temple and The Huc Bridge located in the center of the lake is a fantastic place to visit during your stroll.
A flower vendor with a beautiful selection of flowers at Quang Ba Flower Market
During the Tet holiday, the Quang Ba Flower Market is especially popular with the locals as they will come here to purchase brightly colored flowers for their homes. The flower market is especially worth visiting during the Tet holiday season to enjoy the many beautiful blossoming plants as well as the market atmosphere.
A calligraphy master inscribing a fortune during the calligraphy festival at the Temple of Literature
A calligraphy festival will be taking place at the Temple of Literature during the duration of the Tet holiday season. Locals will visit the temple to get their fortune scripted down by one of the many skilled calligraphers within the temple. It is worth visiting the temple to get an immersive experience with Vietnam's culture during Tet during this unique event.
Hanoi boasts an incredible amount of firework display during New Year’s Eve with up to 30 locations for firework sets.
Below are some of the well-known places to enjoy the firework spectacle in Hanoi at the stroke of midnight on Lunar New Year’s Eve:
Currently, at the beginning of 2021, Vietnam has effectively kept the rate of infection of the coronavirus under control. It has been deemed safe enough for public gatherings and domestic travels during the Tet 2021 holiday.
Domestic travelers will not have to worry about extensive COVID testing procedures and quarantine periods. However, it is highly recommended that standard basic guidelines for COVID-19 prevention still be practiced. Wearing a mask during public outings and washing your hands frequently with soap or using an alcohol-based sanitizer are some common practices to continue.
Square sticky rice cake, pickled leeks, and an assortment of Vietnamese jam are enjoyed during the Tet holiday season
With many restaurants closing down for the Tet holiday, you can still find some places open for service. Hotels will usually have restaurants opened and are safe options to consider. However, if you wish to enjoy some holiday favorites at a local restaurant, be sure to double-check beforehand by checking online or calling the establishment before making the trip there.
Below are some favorite foods that are enjoyed during Tet that you should try:
Read more about Tet Dishes to Try
Visiting Hanoi during the Tet holiday will allow you to experience Vietnam's lively and vibrant culture during its most festive time of the year. We hope that this brief blog has given you some ideas of how Hanoi celebrates the Tet holiday.
Check out How Ho Chi Minh City Celebrates Tet 2021
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© Written by Long Tran for itourvn.com