Many travelers to Vietnam may face some difficulties when coming to the country on Tet holiday because most of the attractions and other businesses are closed to celebrate this event. But don’t worry, it is the good chance for you to have a new experience. Let see how Vietnamese spend their time and what you can do on Vietnamese Tet 2018.
Apart from traveling, there are many other activities you can take part in during Vietnamese Tet holiday. Have a look at some of our suggestions below.
Traditional food has always been playing an important role in Vietnamese Tet. There is a wide variety of Vietnamese traditional foods being prepared carefully before Tet. You can read more about traditional foods during Tet on What to Expect from Vietnamese Tet (part 1).
The best way to explore Vietnamese food culture during the Tet holiday is to visit some Vietnamese friends’ houses where you can fully experience the Vietnamese Lunar New Year vibe. According to Vietnamese beliefs, Tet is the ideal time for family members to gather and enjoy meals together. Coming to a Vietnamese house, therefore, could make you surprised when the house is always full of people as well as joy and cheer. Besides, you can also buy dried foods, pickles, and sticky rice cakes from local markets before Tet at reasonable prices.
Read more on Local Markets in Ho Chi Minh City.
Like many other countries, Vietnam often celebrates a new year by lighting up firework displays for 15 minutes. However, in 2017, there were no firework shows being held in Ho Chi Minh City and other parts of Vietnam in order to reallocate government funds to the support for the poor; there were other music and light shows instead. In the 2018 Lunar New Year, firework displays will be held again in many locations.
The citizens and tourists will be entertained at 30 different firework spots on Lunar New Year’s Eve across Vietnam’s Capital - Hanoi. High-range fireworks will be lighted up in 5 locations including Hoan Kiem Lake in Hoan Kiem District, Lac Long Quan Flower Garden in Tay Ho District, Thong Nhat Park in Hai Ba Trung District, Van Quan Lake in Ha Dong District, and My Dinh National Stadium in Nam Tu Liem District.
At the same time, in Ho Chi Minh City, firework shows is going to take place at 4 locations including Thu Thiem Tunnel in District 2, Cu Chi Tunnels in Cu Chi District, Dam Sen Park in District 11, and Rung Sac Square in Can Gio District.
Tet is one of the best time of a year for Vietnamese to pay respect to their ancestors and spend time on their spiritual life. Visiting pagodas on Tet holiday, therefore, has become a long-term tradition of Vietnamese people. Praying at pagodas and temples not only helps Vietnamese to show their respect to ancestors, Buddha, and God but also gives them a space to reflect the previous year and wish for healthiness and happiness in the upcoming year.
From North to South, you can visit many temples and pagodas like Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi, Yen Tu Pagoda in Quang Ninh, Bai Dinh in Ninh Binh, Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue, Temples on Black Virgin Mountain, and pagodas in Ho Chi Minh like Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, Jade Emperor Pagoda, and Thien Hau Temple. That is only a few to name.
Spring flower markets and flower festivals are among the most specific features of Vietnamese Tet. Flower markets often take place during a week before the Vietnamese Lunar New Year when most families go shopping for flowers to decorate their houses. There is a wide variety of flowers in spring flower markets including peach flowers, marigolds, yellow apricot blossoms (hoa mai), lavender and marumi kumquat. Vietnamese people go to such flower markets not only to do shopping but also to enjoy relaxing moments with their families and friends. Here are some well-known Vietnamese flower markets in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Thi Ky Flower Market (alley 52 Ho Ho Thi Ky Street, District 10);
Dam Sen Flower Market (39 Nguyen Van Phu Street, District 11);
Binh Dien Flower Market (District 8).
Tay Tuu Night Flower Market (the village of Tay Tuu, located in North Tu Liem District);
Quang Ba Night Flower Market (Quang An Ward, Tay Ho District);
Me Linh Night Flower Market (the village of Me Linh, Me Linh commune, Me Linh District);
Hang Luoc Flower Market (Hang Luoc Street, Hoan Kiem District).
Spring flower festivals often take place from around December 23 to January 5 in Chinese Lunisolar Calendar. The biggest Ho Chi Minh City Flower Festival 2018 is going to take place from December 25 to January 6 of the lunar year at Tao Dan Park, District 1. There will be three main areas in this year's festival which are an exhibition area, festival area, and souvenir area with hundred kinds of flowers, trees, and birds. Besides, Nguyen Hue Walking Street and Crescent Lake Park in District 7 will be decorated with a great number of colorful flowers to celebrate Vietnamese Tet.
Apart from major cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese flower festivals are held in many other places including Da Lat and Vung Tau during the Tet holiday. Being known as The City of Flower, Da Lat is one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam. In the Vietnamese Tet holiday, Da Lat Flower Festival will take place in several venues in which the main stage is often set on the surface of Xuan Huong Lake or in Lam Vien Square. Flower festival in Vung Tau will take place in Bai Truoc Park with hundred kinds of flowers and several attractive activities and sports competitions along Vung Tau beach.
Besides, Sapa Spring Festival 2018 is going to take place in Sapa, Vietnam with several entertainment activities including fireworks, exhibitions, flower markets, and many traditional ethnic festivals. Tay Bac Flower Market will take place from February 2nd to February 15th in N2 street, Sapa town with various colorful flowers and ornamental plants that are specific to this mountainous area.
Some ethnic festivals will be held in ethnic groups’ villages where you can enjoy both wonderful natural landscapes and Vietnamese ethnic minorities’ tradition.
Giao Duyen singing festival of Dao Do ethnic group
Time: February 22nd, 2018
Location: Ta Phin, Sapa
Gao Tao festival of Mong ethnic group
Time: February 24th, 2018
Location: San Sa Ho, Sapa
Xoe dancing festival of Tay ethnic group
Time: February 27th, 2018
Location: Thanh Phu, Sapa
Being the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture, Vietnamese Tet is always welcomed with several traditional customs. Coming to Vietnam in Vietnamese Tet 2018, you will have a good chance to explore many unique aspects of Vietnamese tradition as well as enjoy several entertaining activities taking place during this time.
Each region, province, and ethnic has their own ways and customs to celebrate the Tet holiday. These activities are only a few but couldn't cover all the long traditions Vietnamese has for Lunar New Year. Where are you going to be this holiday? What are you planning to do on Tet 2018? Share with us in the comments below. And Happy Lunar New Year!