Vietnamese New Year, or commonly referred to as Tet (short for Tet Nguyen Dan), is the most celebrated holiday in Vietnamese culture. The holiday's celebration falls on the first day of Lunar New Year, which is usually between January and February of the Gregorian calendar. In 2021 (Year of the Ox), Tet will be celebrated from February 10th - 16th. However, the Tet holiday is always comprised of a week-long celebration leading up to that date. Akin to the Christmas holiday, family members will travel across the country back home for a reunion to spend the holiday together.
Read on to find out more about how Ho Chi Minh City celebrates Tet 2021.
Despite the many festivities leading up to Tet and during the holiday, Ho Chi Minh will be surprisingly less crowded than usual as the majority of locals either go back to their hometown or on a leisure trip. Most local businesses, such as restaurants, markets, hair salons, spas, etc. will also close for the holiday. As a result, there are additional fees for the services during the Tet holiday.
Watermelon is the most popular fruit during Tet
The fruits are typically decorated to offer to the altar
Tet decorative ornaments are sold almost everywhere
As of now, since Vietnam has effectively controlled the widespread of Coronavirus, it is safe enough for public gatherings and domestic traveling during the 2021 Tet holiday.
It is not required to do COVID testing and quarantine if you only travel domestically within Vietnam. However, it is crucial that basic guidelines for COVID-19 prevention be practiced, such as wearing masks in public, washing your hands regularly with soap or alcohol-based sanitizer, etc.
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The streets are brightly decorated with festive flowers
Even though many people will be traveling back home to reunite with their families during the Tet holiday, Ho Chi Minh City will remain as lively as ever, with some parts of the city being vibrantly decorated. Stunning yellow apricot blossoms can be seen throughout the city, along with plenty of other flower varieties and decorative installations. There will be many colorful flower markets and festivals you can attend along with many places of celebration.
Nguyen Hue Walking Street is the most popular spot during the Tet holiday season
During the Tet holiday, the famous walking street in the center of District 1 becomes a lavishly flower-themed pedestrian walkway. Plenty of beautiful blossom-shaped decorations are seen throughout the area to accompanied the huge variety of flora displays. Larger crowds than usual are to be expected at this popular location during the holiday, especially at night.
Boats carrying the holiday plants from nearby provinces participate in the annual trade of the Ben Binh Dong Floating Flower Market
Located in District 8, the Tau Hu Canal is transformed into a floating market with boats carrying colorful flowers during the Tet holiday. There are plenty of beautiful plants being sold on this floating market. The blossoms of flowers and ornamental plants being carried along the river make this an interesting location to visit during the holiday.
A display of flowers in Tao Dan Park during the Tet holiday season
Located in District 1, Tao Dan Park Flower Garden is a great place to enjoy the display of holiday flora, many of which have won the ornamental plants contest. It is a magical spot for holiday pictures, and there is usually a food fair inside. Compared to other public areas to view flowers during the Tet holiday, the park is relatively less crowded. The entrance fee to enter the park is around VND 30,000 (US$ 1.40).
Theme parks such as Dam Sen Park and Suoi Tien Park are great places to visit during the Tet holiday season. Not only are the parks good places for fun, but they are also highly decorated with flowers and artworks reflecting the Tet celebration. There are also plenty of holiday events happening at these parks such as the fruit festival at Suoi Tien Park and a street carnival at Dam Sen Park.
The Lunar New Year's Eve is as eventful as the main celebration days of Tet, and you can expect firework shows at 7 locations in Ho Chi Minh City.
Sticky rice cake is famous during the Tet holiday
Many restaurants will be closed during the Tet celebrations as people will take this time to spend it with their families. Luckily in a large metropolis like Ho Chi Minh City, you can still find restaurants serving up some holiday favorites. There are plenty of traditional dishes you should try when it comes to the Tet holiday.
Below are some of the famous foods you should sample during the Tet holiday:
See more on Tet Dishes to Try
Although Tet is not the best time to travel given that there will be an influx of people making their way home to be with their families, there can still some positive to it. Choosing to travel to Ho Chi Minh City during the Tet holiday will allow you to experience the culture when it is most lively. The city's general vibe will be calmer as the streets will be less congested by traffic (except for areas where celebrations are being held). The roads will also be adorned with colorful celebratory installation and lights, which adds to the holiday atmosphere.
Ho Chi Minh streets are filled with vibrant flowers during Tet
Vietnamese usually buy flowers to decorate their houses before Lunar New Year's Eve
Below are some tips to keep in mind to make your travel to Ho Chi Minh City during the Tet holiday more enjoyable:
Check out the Dos and Don’ts - How to Enjoy Tet Holiday
Tet is undoubtedly a great time to experience the lively and vibrant culture of Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh City. With that said, we hope that this brief blog has given you some ideas of where to go and what to eat during the Tet holiday in Ho Chi Minh City.
© Written by Long Tran for itourvn.com